Manchester City take on Liverpool later this evening at the Etihad Stadium looking to maintain the early season pace set by London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, but for captain Vincent Kompany, the Reds will pace as stiff a challenge in the post Luis Suarez era as they would have done last year.
Regardless of the ratification of Suarez's £65 million transfer to Barcelona, Liverpool remain a strong outfit under Brendan Rodgers as, in Daniel Sturridge, they possess "one of the best strikers in the Premier League who is improving every season."
Kompany will know all about Sturridge having trained alongside him at City, yet since the Englishman's move to Anfield, the player has finally reached his true potential and scored 24 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions - his highest haul for a single season.
"He was a City player, obviously, so I played with him while he was at the club and against him at Chelsea, Bolton and now Liverpool. All the way through he has always shown great talent and great ability.
"Outside the games against us, he is someone I have always wished the best for because he is a great person and a great player. He is hard to play against but, at the same time, I enjoy playing against the top strikers in the world."
Kompany versus Sturridge will be one of the more intriguing individual battles at the Etihad tonight.