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De Bruyne identifies Palace threat

PALACE APPOINTMENT: Kevin De Bruyne

PALACE APPOINTMENT: Kevin De Bruyne

Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne reckons Manchester City must pass the physical test at Crystal Palace if they are to progress to the FA Cup fifth round.

The Blues beat the Eagles 2-1 earlier in the campaign in a hard-fought match and the Belgian hasn’t seen anything since then to suggest this visit will be any less difficult.

“I don’t think this trip will be any different from the last game we played there earlier in the season,” said De Bruyne.

“They still have a strong, physical team and that’s their playing style so it will be tough again.

“Plus we will be playing on what feels like a narrower pitch with the crowd right on top of you – you can guess what sort of game it’s going to be. It’s been the same sort of match on the two previous occasions I’ve played there so we expect the same again.”

Watch highlights of the November game here

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Since De Bruyne arrived, the Blues have had five successive FA Cup draws away from home and the fact isn’t lost on the City playmaker.

“We’d prefer to get the odd home draw because obviously there’s less travelling and you’re playing in front of your own fans but since I’ve been here we’ve had Premier League clubs away each time in the FA Cup and League Cup,” he smiled.

“But on the flipside, if you win, those teams go out as well so it’s not all bad."

De Bruyne made his debut at Selhurst Park last season but there is no room for sentiment on his return to the stadium.

“In all honesty it’s just another ground to me,” he said.

"I wasn’t nervous on the day and it was just another game. This is the FA Cup so it’s an in or out game – whoever wins is through, whoever loses is out so it’s pretty black and white in that respect.”

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