Fernandinho expects Manchester United to feel the absence of Paul Pogba in this weekend’s Manchester derby.
United’s record signing is out of Sunday’s match, live on Sky Sports Premier League, through suspension and the Manchester City midfielder believes that could have a negative impact on Jose Mourinho’s team.
But Fernandinho still thinks United will be formidable opponents for City, who are bidding to extend their eight-point lead at the top of the table.
The Brazilian said: “Of course, any team that loses such a good player, they are going to miss him.
“But Manchester United have good players and it doesn’t matter who is going to play in his position, they will do a good job. It will be a tough game for both teams.”
City are looking to make it a Premier League record of 14 consecutive wins but they go into the game on the back of their first defeat of the season against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Fernandinho believes it could be just the jolt they need having won their previous 20 games in all competitions.
He added: “The people around the club, when we start to win a lot of games, they start to say a lot of things and it’s not good. Some of us could relax and drop our levels.
“So if you have to choose a moment to lose then this would be the right one. Derbies are always special. We need to be 100 per cent ready and focused to do our best and try to win the game.”
Victory would give City an 11-point advantage over their city neighbours but Fernandinho insists that would not finalise anything in the race for the title.
“The Premier League is so hard and tough,” said the Brazilian. “You can drop points at any time. It will be a little step for us if we win this game, but nothing will be finished. There will still be a long way to go.”
(c) Sky News 2017: Manchester United will miss Paul Pogba in derby, says Fernandinho