Manuel Pellegrini has insisted, despite the fact the new season has barely begun, his side’s clash with Liverpool will lay down an early marker in the title race.
The Chilean described the encounter as a match worth “six points”, while expressing his belief the Reds will struggle to fill the gap left by Luis Suarez.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference at Carrington, the 60-year-old told the media: “I always say to the players these games are games of six points especially when you play at home against one of the most important squads in the Premier League in Liverpool.
“I watched their game against Southampton and we played against them in the United States. We know what they are doing.
“It is difficult to say after one game but Liverpool will always miss Suarez because he is a very important player, though they have brought in a lot of important players. They will continue to be a very strong squad.”
With City having pipped the Merseyside outfit to the title on the final day of last year, Pellegrini was queried on whether he thought Brendan Rodgers’ side would be mentally scarred – but Pellegrini dismissed talk of the double-winning campaign, asserting his only focus is the coming season.