Fernandinho: Manchester derby will be crucial

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho believes the derby with Manchester United will go a long way towards deciding the destination of the Premier League title, Sky Sports has reported.

City travel to Old Trafford later in March and believes the game against United will have a telling effect on the rest of the season despite David Moyes’ side not being in the title mix themselves.

“That game can change everything,” Fernandinho said. “I hope our team will be ready and we can walk the streets without any problems and that our fans can give us some hugs afterwards.

“When you win these games, you can walk down the street, but not when you lose. The derby is important for the players, the fans and the city, and of course it will be special for everyone.”

But, Fernandinho insisted, he was more focused on City’s next opposition – relegation strugglers Fulham – than the struggling champions.

“Right now we need to think just about Fulham, to beat them at home and play well, so we can take some confidence into next Tuesday against United,” the Brazil international added.

“Maybe we will start to talk about them on Monday but now it’s all about Fulham. People might think Fulham will be an easy game but there are no easy games – every game is a final for us.”

City are 12 points ahead of United, in fourth, while United are languishing in seventh. Manuel Pellegrini’s side won the first Premier League derby of the season, claiming a 4-1 victory with a Sergio Aguero brace and goals from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri. Wayne Rooney scored a late consolation for United.

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