Fernando wary of United threat

News

The former Porto man, who joined the Citizens ahead of the start of this season, will be featuring in his first Manchester Derby of his career, and is looking forward to the match-up against City’s perennial foes.

"We know that every time we talk about a derby, there is always a high expectation," he told his club’s official website. "We always feel the butterflies in our stomach.

"The atmosphere is always that of expectation and there are some nerves. I can't wait for the game to start.

"This will be my first derby and I hope we can win. There is a big competition here.

"It means a lot to the fans; therefore we know we must win it for them so we will do our very best to reward them with a victory."

City are winless in their past three matches, drawing last week’s Champions League encounter against CSKA Moscow before suffering successive League and Cup defeats against West Ham, and Newcastle respectively.

Manchester United have also endured a difficult spell of late, winning just two of their last five encounters, yet Fernando is not under-estimating Louis van Gaal’s men ahead of Sunday’s Derby.

"United are going through a difficult time recently but that can happen to any team," the Brazilian said. "They have good players.

"We know the quality they have, the new players they have bought and the challenges we will have to face when we play against them."

Facing Manchester United brings back good memories for Fernando, who received the nickname ‘Octopus’ following a match for his former club Porto against the Red Devils in the Uefa Champions League.

"I received that nickname while I was a player at Porto," he recalled. "It was during a game against United.

"I tackled [Wayne] Rooney and [Cristiano] Ronaldo a lot. The fans saw what I was doing and gave me that nickname.

"They said it was like I had so many legs. ‘Octopus’ has stuck ever since. I don't mind - I get the same thrill from stopping a goal as strikers do from scoring.

"Hopefully, I will perform a good game again if I am selected."

Fernando, who has featured in eight matches for City thus far this campaign, will hope to be in the starting XI at the Etihad to face United on Sunday afternoon, with kick-off scheduled for 15:30 South African time.

comments