Pep Guardiola has dismissed Jurgen Klopp’s claim that champions Manchester City have “no sign of weakness”.
Liverpool manager Klopp also said that “only City can stop City” as he assessed the Premier League title race this week.
This was in spite of the Reds moving ahead of Guardiola’s City at the top of the table.
But Guardiola said: “Any team has strong points and weak points. Of course we have weaknesses and we are working on it.
“Of course we have (weaknesses), but that’s normal. These kind of comments have to be put in the perspective they must be.”
City continue their campaign as they host Crystal Palace on Saturday. Last season the Eagles ended City’s record 18-match winning run with a goalless draw at Selhurst Park.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: “The quality of the players they have – (Andros) Townsend, especially (Wilfried) Zaha, (Max) Meyer, (James) McArthur, (Luka) Milivojevic – all the players have quality, and (they have) an incredibly experienced manager.
Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend was one of the players Pep Guardiola will be wary of this weekend (Mike Egerton/PA)
“I saw the game against Chelsea. It is so difficult to attack them. Maybe people expect better results than they have had so far. It is complicated. That will be so tomorrow if we are not completely focused.”
City will again be without playmaker David Silva. The Spaniard has returned to light training after three games out with a hamstring injury but, with a crunch game against Liverpool coming up on January 3, he will not yet be risked.
Guardiola said: “He has started to train, had the first steps, but he is still not ready for tomorrow.”
The week has seen some upheaval in Manchester with Jose Mourinho leaving rivals United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking over as caretaker manager at Old Trafford.
Guardiola has backed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to succeed at rivals Manchester United (Simon Peach/PA)
Guardiola, who was just 37 when appointed Barcelona boss, can see some similarities with his own situation in the way United have turned to one of their former players.
Guardiola said: “Of course when a young manager like Solskjaer has this chance it’s because the club decides he can do it.
“What happened in my case was quite similar. I was young and had the opportunity. I tried to do my best.
“Of course they are different jobs. You cannot compare being a football player to being a manager. I wish him all the best.”
Solskjaer, 45, who has been brought in from Norwegian club Molde on a short-term deal, spent 11 years as a player at United.
Guardiola said: “When you know the club, that is an advantage, for sure, knowing the people and how it works there. That is important.
“It is something positive, the fact you were there in the past and know many things of the club.”