The international break has allowed Manchester City players to recuperate and refocus ahead of their Premier League trips to Arsenal and Chelsea, midfielder Aleix Garcia has said.
Garcia said City, who are third in the league, needed time to recover after a spell of four games in 11 days across tournaments before the two-week break from club football.
City’s last match was a 1-1 draw at home against fourth-placed Liverpool and the Spaniard said their next league fixtures will define their season.
“Some players can rest and others can just take their minds off to come back as strong as possible to keep fighting for our goals until the end of the season,” the 19-year-old, who made his City debut last September, told the club website.
“We face lots of games – lots of very important games in a few days that will define our season.
“I expect games like the one against Liverpool – tough games.”
With City knocked out of the Champions League earlier this month and trailing league leaders Chelsea by 12 points, Garcia believes the FA Cup has taken increased importance in manager Pep Guardiola’s first season at the club.
“Winning the Premier League is difficult and we are out of the Champions League, so the FA Cup is probably the best chance we have this season,” Garcia added.
“The team is ready to win it and this is what we want. We will fight to win it.”
Following Sunday’s trip to the Emirates, Man City visit Chelsea, who have lost just once at Stamford Bridge this season, three days later.
City will also face Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on April 23.