FA Cup: Watford goalkeeper Manuel Almunia upbeat over Manchester City tie
Watford goalkeeper Manuel Almunia insists he and his team-mates cannot afford to be daunted by Manchester City.
Last Updated: 24/01/14 2:46pm
Almunia faces the unenviable task of trying to stop free-scoring City on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth round, and Watford's players have shared jokes about the difficulty of the task ahead.
Manuel Pellegrini's side have found the net 106 times in 35 matches so far this season, with 68 goals coming in just 17 games at the Etihad.
"The numbers and statistics are there for everyone to see," said Almunia.
"We have been joking in the dressing room about how many they are scoring, but you always look forward to big games and goalkeepers always expect they'll have a lot of work to do.
"It's not just (Sergio) Aguero, (Edin) Dzeko and (Alvaro) Negredo because the wingers are scoring goals - and the midfielders as well.
"We will not be able to make any mistakes because they will punish us but it is a gift for us to play against one of the best teams in the world and we are looking forward to it.
"We know the quality of their players so there is nothing new for us to discover.
"But the whole team will need to work very hard. We will prepare the best we can to get a result but maybe we will have to play with 12 or 13 players!
"The way to try to stop them is for every one of our players to think positively. We have to go there with confidence because when your mind thinks positively, your body responds better. We will not be scared to play our football in a confident way.
"When I was at Arsenal and we played against teams from the Football League, we were always wary of them because we knew they would play with high intensity.
"Manchester City will be confident but they will know that our players will want to show that we can play at the highest level."
Watford will be without Lewis McGugan and Iriney as they attempt to become the first English club to win at City this season.
McGugan is ruled out with a thigh problem while Iriney has a groin strain. They join suspended duo Fitz Hall and Alexander Merkel and the cup-tied Hector Bellerin on the sidelines.
However, Marco Cassetti has been passed fit after overcoming the knee problem that has kept him sidelined since the start of January, while loanee Mathias Ranegie could make his Hornets debut.