MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Fernandinho of Manchester City runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton FC at Etihad Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Fernandinho will be up for the challenge when the club heads into the crucial stage of the campaign.

The Brazilian midfielder was in excellent form when he returned to the squad for last Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round clash with Burnley.

With City now facing a herculean test with five games in 12 days, the Brazilian is likely to be a key figure again.

And speaking at his Monday press conference ahead of tomorrow’s league trip to Newcastle, the City manager said the midfield enforcer was physically and mentally ready for the exertions ahead.

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“Ferna has had rest a little bit and he is 34-years-old, sometimes he needs the rhythm. He can’t stop too much,” said Pep via the club’s website.

“One of the strong points Burnley has is the long ball. In these kinds of games, Fernandinho is so important.

“In the last game– (Raheem) Sterling, (Leroy) Sane and David Silva didn’t play. Of course, I look at the games and who we are playing, the way they play the type of game we are going to face, and I make the decisions.

“Ferna is strong. I think he feels good right now. He helps our centre-backs a lot.”