LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Steven Gerrard warned Frank Lampard to be ready for "war" as the two former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielders prepare to lock horns once more for their Major League Soccer sides here on Sunday.
Gerrard's Los Angeles Galaxy and Lampard's New York City FC meet in a game being hyped as the most star-studded clash in MLS history, pitting two of the league's big-spending sides against each other.
Gerrard, who joined the Galaxy in July, played down suggestions that Sunday's game would be a personal duel with former England midfield partner Lampard.
The 35-year-old admitted, however, that no quarter would be given against Lampard and his City team-mates.
"I'm sure Frank agrees it's slightly embarrassing to have all the focus on you when it's Los Angeles Galaxy versus New York," Gerrard told reporters on Friday.
"It's about the game and the three points. But we understand it - we've played together for so many years. (The rivalry) it's real.
"When that whistle goes and we're competing for 90 minutes against each other, it's war.
"We fight against each other, we always have. When the whistle goes to finish, there's a mutual respect there. We've always got on off the pitch regardless of what other people say."
Gerrard and Lampard have faced each other on 33 occasions, with Lampard winning 15 to 11. However, the 37-year-old has endured a patchy start to his MLS career, with injuries restricting his appearances for New York.
Gerrard has steadily settled into California since arriving last month, making five starts and scoring a goal in a thrilling win over the San Jose Earthquakes in the California Clasico on July 17.