Liverpool are focused solely on adding three more points to their tally and not the long-term ramifications of the outcome of today's clash with Manchester City, Jürgen Klopp insists.
The Reds are aiming to bounce back after their midweek disappointment in Naples by recording a win over their top-of-the-table rivals when they meet at Anfield this afternoon.
The sides have identical records after seven games of the Premier League season, with City just ahead of Liverpool due to a better goal difference.
And while many see the fixture as a pivotal one in determining how the complexion of the table will look come May, Klopp has detailed why the Reds will be blocking out that external noise.
He wrote in his column in the official matchday programme: “Today is very much about opportunity for all of us at Liverpool and I think we should all be in the most positive mindset coming into it. To be clear: we play the best team in England and without question one of the best club sides anywhere in the world. World-class players, world-class manager, winning mentality.
“City are an outstanding football club and team. But guess what – so are we. We proved last season that the gap between Man City and us in the final Premier League table was not evident when we faced each other directly in games. The matches we played against each other were of the highest quality imaginable.
“Their consistency – evident again at the start of this season – is something to really admire and to win a league as competitive as this one, amassing 100 points, is something our visitors should be very proud of.
“I welcome Pep Guardiola, his players, staff, officials and supporters of Manchester City to Anfield. I think – in fact, I know – that they will have the same level of positive anticipation for this match today that we have.
“I mention previously the games from last season and what characterised all four of them is that both of us have respect for each other but do not fear each other. I really like this. Our focus, as always, is on ourselves and our quality. When preparing for a game like this we, as a team, know we have all the tools we require to be successful. That is enough for me and my staff to have a healthy level of confidence.
“It is important that we focus entirely on today being a 90-plus minutes contest that is there to be won and nothing more. I am not a silly person and I know the game will be given billing beyond simply three league points. We cannot affect the noise around this from others but what we can do – players, staff and supporters – is make sure it does not find its way into our environment.
“The motivation of winning this game is enough for us. We want to beat Manchester City today – that is all. I don’t need magical powers to know they want to beat us. So let’s go, attack it – game on. The wider context and impact can only distract and use energy which is precious for us, so I am not interested in it just now.
“This group of games, sandwiched between the first two international breaks, have been of unbelievably high intensity and it is fitting the final chapter of this mini-series is a match like this one. The intensity will not reduce, only increase as the season progresses, so I am very grateful and blessed to have a group of players who embrace the challenge and give their all to deliver for our club and supporters.”
Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium this afternoon, or subscribe online by clicking here.