Vincent Kompany has warned Liverpool it will be much harder for them to mount a title challenge now they are back in the Champions League.
The Belgium international has skippered Manchester City to two Premier League titles in three seasons, and in both campaigns they had the added complication of competing in Europe.
Liverpool were surprise challengers last season, finishing runners-up to City, but Kompany feels it will be tough for them to repeat that when the fixture list is more crowded.
He told reporters: "When the Champions League comes in, it will be a different competition all over for Liverpool and for all the clubs involved, because it will get more demanding as the weeks go on."
Liverpool visit the Etihad Stadium on Monday in a clash between last season's top two, and Kompany is relieved that City got off to a winning start by beating Newcastle 2-0 on Sunday.
He added: "If we perform like we did at Newcastle, we'll be hoping to get the three points. The win was important as it takes a lot of pressure off the Liverpool game."
The centre-back was one of three City players to sign a five-year contract last week, along with midfielder David Silva and striker Sergio Aguero.
Samir Nasri and Aleksandar Kolarov had already committed their futures to the club by extending their deals, and Kompany believes it is crucial to keep those who have helped City to success.
He said: "It's one thing to make new signings, but it's another to make sure we have a core of players who know the league and have enjoyed success in the league.
"Then we can move forward with a certain style and philosophy that has been successful for us.
"For me it's important to see quality, new players coming -- but it is as important to see players like Silva, Kolarov and Nasri remaining at the club."