Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has responded to an unusual comparison from Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp by claiming that he has become accustomed to living with high expectations after almost a decade at the top of European football.
Former Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp recently described Liverpool as the Rocky Balboa of the Premier League, after being asked about how the Reds would challenge for the title this season.
The 51-year-old also compared reigning champions Manchester City to Ivan Drago - the main antagonist from Rocky IV - and insisted that it is Liverpool that have to do more this season.
"We are still Rocky Balboa and not Ivan Drago," Klopp said ahead of Liverpool's opening match against West Ham. "We are the ones who have to do more and fight more - that must be our attitude."
But Manchester City head coach Guardiola claims that he is not phased by the lofty expectations which are being placed on his side this season, offering a cynical response to Klopp's unusual metaphor.
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"Thank you, Jürgen," Guardiola replied, quoted by the Daily Mail. "For nine years I've lived with it, no problem. Every season except the first one when I arrived at Barcelona, when I had people who didn't know I was a manager, since then we have always been the favourites. But thank you, Jürgen. You are so kind."
The two Premier League giants - who many have tipped to be in a head to head battle for the league title - will be hopeful of getting off to the perfect start this season.
Liverpool welcome a new look West Ham to Anfield on Sunday and will be confident of picking up three points in front of their own fans, while Manchester City face the tough task of tackling Unai Emery's Arsenal in north London.