Manchester City would be wise to respect opponents Steaua Bucharest in their Champions League play-off, midfielder Fernandinho has said.
Pep Guardiola’s side meet the 1986 European champions in Romania on Tuesday in the first leg of the tie that decides who will reach the group stage.
Steaua have struggled to impact upon continental competition in recent years, but head coach Laurentiu Reghecampf has stated he is “very confident” that his side, who have won three of the last four domestic titles, can triumph.
And Fernandinho says City must not underestimate their opponents as they look to secure a return to the Champions League, a competition in which they reached the semi-finals for the first time last season.
“They have won the Champions League before. They have a big history behind them and have won several trophies and we really need to respect that and be cautious about that,” the Brazil international told the club’s official website.
“Without a shadow of a doubt play-offs are usually just finals. But we are aware we have 180 minutes to play and we will try to impose our game and give everything to win.
“One thing I can say is that they are very aggressive and they are very fast, especially in attack, with long balls and using the flanks.”
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