Fernandinho is urging caution ahead of City’s Boxing Day clash with Sunderland.
The Brazilian believes the Black Cats will arrive with a plan aimed at stemming the Blues’ creativity in a bid to leave the Etihad with a positive result.
With another crucial game against Leicester to come in just three days’ time, Fernandinho says three points are a must against Sam Allardyce’s men – but City won’t be underestimating the struggling Wearsiders – particularly as they have performed well against the Blues in recent league meetings.
“Anybody who believes playing Sunderland at home will be easy is mistaken,” said Ferna. “I remember two seasons ago when we were going for the title and they held us 2-2 and last year, on New Year’s Day, they made it really difficult again though we eventually won 3-2.
“They always seem to play well when they are up against us – maybe they just play this well against City! But now they will come here having changed their manager and with the extra motivation.
We need to prepare well, concentrate throughout and give our fans the kind of performance they deserve.
Sunderland have an impressive record against the Blues in recent years with City winning just five of the last 11 Premier League meetings – though the Black Cats have never won at the Etihad Stadium or away to City since 1998.
Ferna says the players are intent on giving the home crowd plenty of festive cheer, with the Boxing Day fixture always a popular date for fans all over the country.
“I knew when I came to City that playing on Boxing Day was a special day for supporters in England and maybe one of the most-looked forward to on the calendar,” he said.
“It’s a day when people are relaxed and with their families and we need to prepare correctly and make sure we send our fans home happy so they can continue to enjoy the holidays.
“We’ll be doing our best against Sunderland, I can assure everybody of that and I’d also like to wish all our fans a fantastic New Year.”