Samir Nasri is desperate to avoid an unusual hat trick of losing three finals to relegated teams when Manchester City take on Sunderland in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
The midfielder was part of the Arsenal side beaten by Birmingham in the 2011 League Cup final and then played for City when Wigan beat them in the FA Cup showpiece 10 months ago.
With Gus Poyet’s relegation-threatened Black Cats awaiting on Sunday, Nasri admits he finds it hard to shake off the memories of past upsets, which are two of the lowest points of his career.
“You go back home and play the game again in your head and it’s difficult," he said. "It hurts because at the end of the season, you play to win trophies and it was a good opportunity to win them.”
Asked which defeat was more painful, the 26-year-old replied: “I cannot choose one of them over the other. The only thing is I lost two finals against teams who went down.”
Nasri is set to make only his second start since suffering a knee injury against Newcastle in January but, following substitute appearances against Chelsea and Barcelona, he believes he is fully fit now.
“Yes, we had a long week to work,” he said. “This week I trained normally with the squad. The fitness is coming back and the game against Stoke helped me because I played 80 minutes.”
Nasri seemed in high spirits en route to London on Saturday afternoon, posting a picture on Instagram alongside teammate Yaya Toure.