Portuguese Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has teased his compatriots at Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s clash between the sides.
United travel to the Etihad Stadium looking to pull off another impressive result at their city rivals.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored in a 2-1 win for the Red Devils last season. However, the same clash this season comes amid differing circumstances for both sides.
Fernandes has added significantly to United’s firepower since that game. City, meanwhile, have recovered from last campaign’s lull and are edging closer to reclaiming their Premier League crown.
Fernandes comes into Sunday’s clash with the chance to meet up with international Portuguese colleagues Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo.
Speaking to manutd.com, however, the midfielder insisted that all ties with the trio will be forgotten for 90 minutes.
“I speak with them regularly, we have a good relationship,” Fernandes said.
“But the relationships stay out of the game. They know me and they know that on the pitch we are not friends anymore! [Smiles]
“At the same time I enjoy seeing them play and every one of them is doing well individually and I’m happy for them.
“As a team I was hoping to see them do a little bit worse than they are doing, but individually I am happy for them because they are good people and they deserve to be in the positions they are and playing in the way they are playing.”
Fernandes added that his side are aware that the “difficult” challenge City pose in that only an almost perfect performance will be enough to win.
But United arrive into the match off the back of three successive 0-0 draws in all competitions.
As such, 26-year-old Fernandes insisted that he thrives off the prospect of rival fans looking to see the “most hated club in England” lose.
Fernandes looking to hit back at rivals
“We know the pressure we have outside of the club because it’s the biggest club in England. It’s also the most loved club in England and the most hated club in England, you know what I mean,” he said.
“We have a lot of fans but in the same way the other fans can’t like United because of what we’ve done in the past and the story the club has.
“That’s normal. For us though, it’s time to clear our heads and understand what we can achieve and what we want to achieve.
“We know that starts from this game, simply because it’s the next one.”