Bernd Leno has called on his Fulham team-mates to believe ahead of the daunting trip to Manchester City this weekend and feels that Marco Silva’s side have plenty of ways to spring a surprise at the Etihad Stadium.

The Whites haven’t won at Eastlands since Clint Dempsey’s brace inspired Roy Hodgson’s men to come from behind 2009 and you have to go back eleven years for the last time that the Cottagers came away from the blue half of Manchester with a point. Pep Guardiola’s defending champions are two points behind Arsenal at the top of the table and are hot favourites to record another routine win on Saturday, but Leno is refusing to admit defeat.

The German goalkeeper told FFCTV this afternoon:

“I have to expect a lot of work. All of us we have enjoy to work, to run, to suffer because probably they will have a lot of possession. We have nothing to lose. No one expects us to beat them, because City beat everyone. That’s our big chance to get something to surprise them, to get something. Of course, they will have more possession, but we want to play our game as well. We are very unpredictable – we can play long balls, we can play short, we are good on set pieces. I think there is still a chance to surprise them and we just have to believe.”

The ex-Arsenal goalkeeper will be ready to face Erling Haaland if the Norwegian recovers from injury in time – but warned that City’s firepower comprises far more than their sensational summer signing.

“We have to prepare that he plays. He is always a threat, he is always dangerous because he can score goals out of nothing. It is not only Haaland. They have many world class players. It is not to defend [against] him, we have to defend as a team, as a collective against the whole Man City team. We need a perfect day from all of us.

Leno also said he had been impressed by the vocal backing from the Fulham fans since arriving at Craven Cottage – with more than 2,000 travelling fans making the trip to Manchester despite a train strike.

The support is amazing. Wherever we go, even at Leeds, you could hear in the second half, only our fans. That’s very impressive. We try to give that back with wins, with goals, with the way we play, we fight and everything. It helps us a lot. Against Everton, we couldn’t score but the fans were pushing us for 95 minute and you could see that we tried to give something back. I think crowd is our twelfth man.