Liverpool a top team without Coutinho - Guardiola

Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona could hand Manchester City an edge over Liverpool on Sunday, but not according to Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola does not expect Philippe Coutinho's big-money move to Barcelona to weaken Liverpool when it hosts his Manchester City on Sunday.   -  AFP

Pep Guardiola does not expect Philippe Coutinho's big-money move to Barcelona to weaken Liverpool when it hosts his Manchester City on Sunday.

Liverpool is undefeated in its last 17 games across all competitions, while Premier League leader City has won 20 and drawn the other two of its top-flight matches this season.

READ: Big Match Focus: Liverpool vs Manchester City

It does have a significant Anfield hoodoo to overcome, having last won at the famous Merseyside ground in May 2003, but the departure of influential playmaker Coutinho for £142million earlier this week might offer grounds for encouragement.

READ: Coutinho agrees big-money Barcelona switch

Not, however, in the eyes of Guardiola.

"There is no doubt about the quality of Coutinho," the former Camp Nou boss told reporters. "I think Barcelona have signed a top, top player who suits perfectly the way they want to play for the last 20 years.

READ: Liverpool's Salah fit to face Manchester City

"Saying that, Liverpool have resources. They can go to the market and Jurgen [Klopp] knows exactly what he has to do with his team. Liverpool remain a top, top team.

"This season they played a lot of games without Coutinho for many circumstances – injuries and other reasons. Always they were a good and stable team.

"That is not going to change my opinion about Liverpool on Sunday."