City were powerless to stop Liverpool’s relentless march to the League title last season, taking City’s crown and leaving Guardiola with plenty of work to do in the summer.
Neither side has had a perfect start to the season, but City and Liverpool are favourites to contest the title again this term.
City pipped Liverpool to the title by a single point in 2018/19, and Guardiola has not forgotten the value of each and every game on the road to glory – especially when a defeat would leave City eight points behind Liverpool even this early on.
“Of course it is important, we cannot deny it, but it is just the seventh game,” Guardiola said on Friday. “Like presidential elections, all the votes must be counted, so there are a lot of points to play for.
“We know we have to do a good performance to beat them, we won and lost in the past. We are going to do our best to beat them.”
With Liverpool in fine form in front of goal of late, Guardiola believes facing the champions will be a good test of his side’s capabilities.
“When you play against teams like Liverpool you always have moments where you have to suffer. We know it. We have to do it and try to play to our strengths as much as possible.
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“We know each other quite well. We have played many times. I don’t expect a game of 90 minutes where we will be there, or where they will be there for 90 minutes. There will be ups and downs.
“We have to be stable in the bad moments and, in the good moments, take our good chances and be clinical.
“It’s always nice to play against the strongest teams and last year they were stronger. They are an exceptional team, they have had the same manager for a long time and it is nice to face him all the time to improve our level.”
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