Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no interest in turning his side's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich into a personal battle with Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola brings Bayern, the German and European champions, to the Etihad Stadium in the second round of fixtures in Group D this week with both clubs having won their opening matches.
Pellegrini is still to get the better of the former Barcelona boss, with whom he clashed regularly in Spain.
Barcelona beat Pellegrini's Real Madrid twice during the 2009-10 season, when the Catalans pipped the Bernabeu giants to the title.
With Malaga, Pellegrini lost all four games against Barca between 2010 and 2012. His only inkling of success in a Guardiola battle was a 3-3 draw at the Nou Camp with Villarreal in 2009.
Now in charge at City, Pellegrini has a much more impressive squad at his disposal but his only concern is eking three points out of them and not finally outmanoeuvring Guardiola.
The Chilean said: ``It's always about the players. I don't play against Pep Guardiola. It is Bayern against Manchester City.
``The key is always the performance of the important players. They must appear in important games and normally it's the key that makes the difference.''
Pellegrini's strong Champions League reputation, having taken Villarreal to the semi-finals and Malaga to the last eight, was one of the chief reasons City recruited him in the summer.
Guardiola, who has won the competition twice as manager, had previously been linked with City but had long been appointed by Bayern when the Eastlands vacancy eventually arose.
Pellegrini said: ``Pep is a great manager and he's at a great club also.
``I know it's not easy for him to improve on what Bayern did last year but in some way he will give Bayern the characteristics of the teams he managed, the characteristics that he gave to Barcelona in his four years. We expect that from Bayern.''
City are finally hoping to make an impression in the Champions League after premature exits in the past two seasons.
However, Guardiola is impressed by the strides City have made in recent years and believes it is only a matter of time before they make their mark in Europe.
He said: ``Manchester City are one of the biggest clubs in Europe. I think they have made big steps forward.
``The last two seasons they didn't get through first stage but I am 100 per cent confident they will get through to the next round.
``My impression is if they qualify, Manchester City will be one of the toughest teams in the next round.
``The same happened with Borussia Dortmund last season.
``They qualified for the next round and went on to the final.''
Bayern winger Arjen Robben, who scored the goal that clinched last season's Champions League in the final at Wembley in May, also expects City, with their vast resources, to come good.
The former Chelsea star said: ``They are not the only club with a lot of money in Europe.
``You can't just buy quality, you have to build a team. Having enough good players will give you a chance of hitting the jackpot at some point.
``They have the potential to progress well this time.''