A 1-0 home success over Norwich in between has given them some respite, but Bruce is under no illusions about the size of the challenge awaiting at the Etihad Stadium - especially after Manuel Pellegrini's side were turned over by Cardiff last time out.
"We're expecting a backlash because that's what makes a really good player," he said.
"They will be desperately disappointed with how they lost that game. I didn't think they deserved to lose but Cardiff were terrific in that last 20 minutes.
"We've got to take the backlash of a big team and we have to be ready for that challenge.
"The big thing is to take part in the game and pose a few problems ourselves, if we can."
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