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Media watch: Fernandinho up for cup battle

FERNANDINHO: City's midfielder is ready to face Arsenal

FERNANDINHO: City's midfielder is ready to face Arsenal

Manchester City face Arsenal on Sunday in the second FA Cup semi-final of the weekend and the sports pages, both in print and online, are filled with build-up.

A host of players have been speaking to the media about City’s expectations heading into the match, including Fernandinho.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the tough Brazilian midfielder said: “We have a great chance to be in the final of a great competition. It's one of the most beautiful competitions in Europe.

“It is a good game to play in because they like to play and we like to play. But without the ball it will be a challenge. Who will run more to recover the ball? Who will press more to win the ball? Both can play, we know that.

“They have the quality to play so it is about recovering the ball, taking the ball and starting to play our game.

“We have prepared well and we are ready. When I was young and before I started to play football I was always calm. I don't see any point to change, you know.”

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Gael Clichy is a player with experience of winning trophies with both City and Arsenal but he insists his focus is on reaching the FA Cup final – not who Sunday’s opponents will be.

The Mirror published these words from the full-back: "A team like Manchester City, of course, you expect them to fight for the Champions League, you expect them to be close for the title race," said the French defender.

"But in the end, the FA Cup is a major trophy in England. People love this competition and, of course, we're going to try hard to get it done.

"Of course, playing against Arsenal is something extra. But in the end, the only thing that matters for us is to get through to the final and lift the trophy for the fans."

The semi-final has also been given the prediction treatment from two of the BBC’s senior pundits. Mark Lawrenson and Jermaine Jenas both expect City to come out on top at Wembley, predicting 2-0 and 3-1 scores respectively.

Jenas said: “I think it will be wide open, even if the fact it is a semi-final will calm it down a little bit.

“In my head I am thinking 3-3 but Arsenal are just not free-flowing or playing well at the moment and City will have Kompany back too.”

Finally, there’s a pinch of transfer gossip. The Daily Mail believe City are in the hunt for Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

Sam Cunningham speculates: “Manchester City have placed striker Antoine Griezmann among their top transfer targets.

“Manager Pep Guardiola is lining up a summer move to beat rivals Manchester United to his signature and add to the firepower of Gabriel Jesus next season.

“The Frenchman, 26, has scored 26 goals in 50 games for club and country this season and is regarded as one of the most dangerous attackers in world football.”

There will be full coverage of Manchester City v Arsenal at Wembley on mancity.com!

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