Virgil van Dijk has been at the heart of Liverpool's success over the past two seasons, barely missing a minute of football as the Reds won the Champions League and Premier League.
But Jurgen Klopp's side will have to try and retain the title without their talismanic centre-back after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament last month against Everton.
Van Dijk is expected to miss the remainder of the season, which comes as a huge boost to City and their hopes of winning the league.
However, Guardiola admits he would much rather see the Reds be at full strength with Van Dijk in their line-up for the game on Sunday.
“The most important thing is that the surgery was good and I hope he can recover as quickly as possible,” he said.
“I will miss him, I like to play with the best players on the pitch and Liverpool remains an incredibly top team because the structure is there.
“Every player knows what they have to do and the result against Atalanta.
“We faced them last season and know how hard it is to beat them away – and they did it.
“Liverpool remains a top class team.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 years ago