Jürgen Klopp has warned that Liverpool should not go into Sunday's clash with Manchester City with the mindset of favourites, despite their phenomenal record against the Premier League's top-six.
"We were today", he added after a victory that saw Liverpool remain fourth, still in the final Champions League place open to English clubs, and move five points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.
While Coutinho has not been firing on all cylinders of late, Liverpool have played their way through a new-year wobble to pick up three wins in their last four outings and keep themselves on course for Champions League qualification.
"I would say you need to be ready for both", said Klopp when asked if it was important for his team to learn how to win "ugly" games.
Guardiola has built arguably the greatest attacking force now in the Premier League - with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Nolito all top class offensive options - but his defensive unit is remarkably poor.
City are still licking their wounds after surrendering a 5-3 first-leg advantage to crash out of Europe's top club competition at the last-16 stage in Monaco in midweek.
Guardiola's team are also better on the road than they are at home with just 26 points from 13 league matches at the Etihad, meaning the Reds are in with a strong chance of returning to Liverpool with all three points. "I think it makes sense to see it as a real opportunity and not to push some special pressure on it". Indeed, the Reds have won four consecutive league games against Man City for the first time since 1981.
"For me City is the most hard team to play", said the Liverpool manager, who oversaw a 4-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium last season.More news: Journalists Caught in Mount Etna Eruption Capture It on Video
"There are always steps in this direction".
"We should concentrate on the football side", he said.
"It (Monaco) was not the result we wanted".
"We played Villarreal and then Swansea at 12". They are good. Emre likes to be here, we really like him as a person and as a player.
It is clear improvements at the back are needed, and with money no object to City, just who could they sign?
Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool are in "good talks" with Emre Can and is confident the midfielder wants to stay at Anfield.
Klopp feels the competitiveness of this season's Premier League means securing Champions League football would be an "outstanding" accomplishment.
"Now he is going to the national team to play more minutes".