Manchester City star Fernando has admitted that he is trying to replicate the playing style of Chelsea anchorman Nemanja Matic ahead of his team’s trip to Stamford Bridge, the Daily Mail reports.
The 27-year-old Brazilian believes the defensive qualities of the Blues defensive midfielder has made him a vital part of Jose Mourinho’s squad.
“It’s a specific position and one that is really important for every team all over the world,” he told the Daily Mail.
“’I played against Matic in Portugal several times and he is a really great player. He has so much quality.
“There are not many players like him left now, I think, but he is one of those I try to look at and learn from as I try to improve the way I play that role.
“He is a player that has become incredibly important to Chelsea. I always try to watch these players in this position because there are so few left. I know I can learn from them.”
Fernando will go head-to-head with Matic on Saturday as City try to narrow the five-point gap between them and the league leaders.
Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping he can ensure all three points even if his side go into the clash without the services of key midfielder Yaya Toure, who is currently travelling with his national squad at the African Cup of Nations.
Chelsea have also got a few problems of their own with Diego Costa tipped to miss the match after being charged with a stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can, although he is set to make an appeal.
They could also be without key playmaker Cesc Fabregas, who is still a doubt after picking up a slight knock in the recent 1-0 Capital One Cup victory over the Reds.