Liverpool trio of Salah, Firmino, Mane 'almost unstoppable' - Guardiola

LIVERPOOL, England -- Pep Guardiola has described Liverpool's attacking front-three as "almost unstoppable" ahead of their Champions League showdown.

Manchester City face a quarterfinal first leg at Anfield on Wednesday -- the only stadium in which they have lost in the Premier League this season.

Liverpool forwards Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Premier League leading scorer Mohamed Salah all netted in the 4-3 victory in January and Guardiola says his side will have to be at their absolute best to stop them.

"Not just [Salah], Mane and Firmino, all three, they are almost unstoppable. They are fantastic, fantastic players," Guardiola told a news conference after City's 3-1 victory over Everton on Saturday.

"The way Liverpool plays is so complicated for us. We know that. They are so quick, they are so good and it is tough, but it is [the] quarterfinal of Champions League so we cannot expect, in that level, something is going to be easy.

"We play against ourselves and say 'that is the target, we have to overcome.' We will be able or not able to overcome that. If we are able, okay, semifinals. If we are not able, congratulations Liverpool and next season we will be back stronger but we are going to try."

City at least have the advantage of playing the second leg at the Etihad Stadium where they thrashed Liverpool 5-0 in September.

But Guardiola refused to be drawn in on what he considered to be a good result to take into the rematch six days later.

He joked: "6-0 will be good. Normally that is [not] going to happen. I never like a manager [to] think 'what is a bad result?' I focus on the performance, on what we have to do. Always the result is the consequence. Most of the times it is a consequence of what you have done. So I don't think a draw is a good result or a victory.

"Scoring goals away is so important and we are going to try to score goals but we cannot deny three people running up front plus [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain in the middle plus set-pieces with [Virgil] Van Dijk -- they are an extraordinary team.

"But that is what happens in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. If you are playing against Barcelona or Madrid or against Bayern Munich or Juventus or Roma or Sevilla, in that level you stop."

Sergio Aguero missed the win over Everton as he recovers from a knee injury and Guardiola says it's too early to say whether he will be fit enough to face Liverpool.

"We will see," he said. "Still he didn't train -- one training session. Hopefully, he is much, much better. We will see. In these situations it is day-by-day.

"Hopefully he can help us. Maybe not in the beginning, maybe from the bench. Or because after that we have United and after that, you have Liverpool in the second leg and maybe you have to change the system and have six strikers to win that game and we need Aguero and Gabriel [Jesus] and Lukas Nmecha and [Raheem] Sterling and everybody.

"So this is not one game, Liverpool. It is 180 minutes. You have to try and make a good performance there for the second leg."