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Fernandinho: Fitness key to cup battle

Midfield dynamo Fernandinho believes City's recovery rate could be a crucial factor in the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool.

Manuel Pellegrini's players were at their explosive best against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The challenge now, according to 30-year-old Brazilian Fernandinho, is to maintain the momentum against a dangerous Liverpool side.

He said: "Following the big game on Wednesday and after a long and tiring journey, it’s important to recover. In the last days we tried to recover as much as possible, eating well and prepare the last training, on Saturday morning in order to arrive 100% well.

“It’s going to be a great game, a beautiful game. I am sure the team will be focused.”

When asked if Wednesday's performance was the best of the season so far Fernandinho reflected: "When we win, everyone says positive things about us. I think that the team’s attitude through the 90 minutes in Kyiv was important, when we want to win that’s how we must play and I believe it was a great game. I hope we can play that way more often."

Fernandinho in action against Dynamo Kyiv

If Fernandinho makes the starting XI he could find himself face to face with ex-team-mate James Milner, an intriguing prospect given the phenomenal work rate of both players.

The Yorkshireman is just one of a number of potential threats in Jurgen Klopp's side though, and after the 4-1 Etihad Stadium defeat City need no reminder of their opponents' quality.

“They are a great team," Fernandinho declared. "They are fast and they have players with a lot of speed in the attack so we have to be careful in the defence.

"In the Premier League we had three players in that position and we lost at home, but now is going to be different. We have to prepare, watch some videos and also do some training on the pitch. The match will be very special to all of us.”

Whether or not Fernandinho is pitted into direct opposition to Milner remains to be seen.

Pellegrini used his man in a relatively unfamiliar right midfield position against Kyiv, in what was a trip down memory lane in more ways than one for the ex Shakhtar Donetsk man.

He added: "It was good, very interesting to return to Ukraine after three years and get a positive result. It was great. I got the chance to see some friends I have there.

“It was interesting, because it has been a while since the last time I played on that position. I played few times when I was at Shakhtar Donetsk and for Brazil. It helped me remember my youth and most importantly, to help my team winning this game, that was the most significant aspect of the night.”

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