Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl accepts his side could play a perfect game and still be beaten by Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday.
The side from the South Coast lost 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium in this fixture last season, while two seasons previously they were thrashed 6-1 - with City having won nine of the last ten meetings of the two teams.
And Hasenhuttl is in no doubt about the size of the task facing his players when they take on a City side who thrashed RB Leipzig 6-3 in the Champions League in midweek.
Hasenhuttl full of City respect
He told the Daily Echo: "We have to be tight to take something, yes, but they also I think have 20 shots on target in this game (against Leipzig).
"This is hard to defend. We have seen different ways of teams playing against and everybody tried something else, but very often City had also in the end the win.
"You can play a perfect game and even then you lose because of the individual quality and they have the right moments to finish the game.
"But we are not thinking like this, we are always believing in us for what we are doing and going there with a good balance of braveness, but also a good balance of respect."
The Austrian also confirmed that both Stuart Armstrong and Theo Walcott will miss the trip to the Etihad Stadium, but striker Shane Long is back in contention for a recall.