Fernandinho believes if City can take points off Bayern Munich both away and at home, progression to the last 16 will be almost guaranteed.
With yet another tricky draw to negate, Ferna reckons the two clashes with Bayern will ultimately decide the fate of the group.
“This is a difficult group for us, but Bayern are the team we have to beat,” said the Brazil star.
The other teams we must play are tough, but if we take three points from our first game I think we will go on and win the group
“That’s something we haven’t done before and it is really important because it means you don’t face another group winner in the next phase.
“Every team you face in the Champions League is difficult because they all give 100% to try and beat you no matter who you are playing, but we have learned lessons from our previous efforts and we want to finish top this time.”
Though City will be without Fernando and Stevan Jovetic faces a late fitness test, Bayern are also missing several top stars and Fernandinho is expecting an open, exciting match.
“It should be a great game for us to play in and for the fan to watch and if we are at our best, we know we can beat anyone,” he said. “Our aim is to go to Munich and win – that would be the perfect start for us.”
Fernandinho admits the loss of compatriot Fernando ahead of such a big game is a blow and has been impressed with his start to life in sky blue.
“He has settled in really well,” he said. “He is a big loss because he has quickly become an important player for us and it is sad he won’t play against Bayern but we have great players who can slot in when somebody is injured.
“That is the difference between City and a lot of other teams – when one good player goes out, another good player comes in, but when we are all fit, we have a very strong squad.
“I’m looking forward to playing alongside Fernando so we will see what happens when he recovers.”