Jürgen Klopp says Bayern Munich are a force to be reckoned with, and does not for one minute regard the record German champions as underdogs against his Liverpool side in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.
The 51-year-old challenged the domestic order with back-to-back Bundesliga title wins at Borussia Dortmund in 2011 and 2012, but it was Bayern who reigned supreme in his final three seasons at the BVB helm.
Klopp renews his rivalry with Germany's most successful club at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium on 19 February.
"It's been said we're favourites, but I don't see it that way," the former Mainz and Dortmund coach told Sky Sport News HD ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg. "Bayern, with all their strength, experience and class, will be very difficult. We're coming up against a team with incredible quality from back to front."
Watch: Bayern powered to victory against Klopp's old BVB rivals Schalke on Matchday 21
Klopp, whose swashbuckling Dortmund team lost the first ever all-German Champions League final to Bayern at Wembley Stadium in May 2013, also underlined the strength of defenders Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle.
Bayern counterpart Niko Kovac recently declared that Süle is his first-choice centre-back, but has been rotating between 2014 FIFA World Cup winners Boateng and Hummels as a partner for the towering 23-year-old for much of the 2018/19 campaign.
"The quality is there just like it always has been," Klopp said of the Bayern rearguard. "When you've got Boateng, Hummels and Süle, how can anyone talk about a shaky defence?"
Klopp returns to the visiting dugout at Bayern's imposing Allianz Arena, three weeks after the first leg in Liverpool, on 13 March.
"It's a slight advantage for us to be playing at home first, but that's all," he warned. "It won't be easy."