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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 January 2019

FA Cup previews: Fernandinho says no let-up in intensity from Manchester City

Premier League champions host Championship side Rotherham in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, left, and Fernandinho, right, in action with Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum. Reuters
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, left, and Fernandinho, right, in action with Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum. Reuters

Fernandinho insists there will be no let-up in intensity from Manchester City as focus switches to domestic cup action in the coming days.

The Premier League champions host Championship side Rotherham in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday before taking on League One outfit Burton Albion in the first leg of their League semi-final on Wednesday.

Coming after Thursday's energy-sapping top-of-the-table league clash with Liverpool on Thursday, the fixtures would appear to bring a change of pace.

Fernandinho, however, claims that City's focus will be just as strong.

The Brazilian midfielder said: "We try to play the same intensity as always.

"Some teams come to Etihad and don't want to play with the ball like Liverpool did, so we won't have to defend like we did on Thursday, but with the ball we try to play with the same intensity always.

"We try to find the spaces to create the chances and arrive in the box. When we play games like this we have to try and recover the ball as fast as possible."

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Fernandinho is among those who could be rested with manager Pep Guardiola likely to make changes. The 33-year-old Brazilian has only just returned from injury in the last two games after missing costly back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City in December.

Goalkeeper Aro Muric and midfielder Phil Foden, who have featured regularly in domestic cup football this season, are two players likely to come in. Fabian Delph again misses out through suspension.

Meanwhile, Guardiola has been warned by the English Football Association over his behaviour after the City manager launched into a touchline rant during the champions' crucial 2-1 victory against Liverpool.

Guardiola threw his scarf to the ground and shouted at fourth official Martin Atkinson after a decision from referee Anthony Taylor went against City in the second half on Thursday.

It is the 47-year-old Catalan's first warning and the decision was posted on the FA website, which also makes it clear that any manager receiving four such warnings must serve a touchline ban.

City moved to within four points of Premier League leaders Liverpool thanks to Leroy Sane's second half winner at the Etihad Stadium.

Elsewhere, Millwall defender Shaun Hutchinson is likely to miss Sunday's FA Cup meeting with Championship rivals Hull City after suffering a deep cut to his leg in a "freak accident" while taking out the trash at home.

Millwall manager Neil Harris said the 28 year old could be out for an indefinite period, putting him in doubt for the third-round fixture against Hull.

"Hutch had a real freak accident putting the bins out before coming to training," Harris said.

"He has a deep gash on his shin, he's going to be out for a period. I don't know anymore that than at the moment so we will have to monitor him ahead of the weekend."

Millwall are 19th in the Championship, six places below Hull.

Updated: January 6, 2019 08:45 AM

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