Saturday 16 December 2017

Pellegrini hopes Yaya Toure will be fit for Chelsea test

Midfielder's injury a concern ahead of big Chelsea clash

Yaya Toure of Manchester City
Yaya Toure of Manchester City
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is sure his star player Yaya Toure will be fit in time for Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash at home to Chelsea

Yaya Toure is expected to be fit to face Chelsea on Sunday, despite straining his groin in Manchester City's victory over West Brom.

The Ivorian international scored twice in the 3-0 win at the Hawthorns on Monday, but was taken off as a precaution after 80 minutes.

The 32-year-old will be assessed by City's medical staff ahead of the crunch game with Chelsea at the Etihad.

Toure didn't appear to be struggling as he made his way from the visitors' dressing room on Monday and Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that he expects to have him in his starting XI at the weekend.

"He had a little problem in his groin," said the Chilean. "But I hope he will be okay because it was more a precaution."

After Toure's double against West Brom Pellegrini is convinced the midfielder can reproduce his finest form this season.

"I always said that last season was a strange season for Yaya," he said. "He started the season with a lot of problems, with the death of his brother.

"After there were a lot of problems with his agent. I think that he was not focused last year maybe on what he had to do, but we spoke long before the season.


"I am sure that we are going to see the same Yaya that we saw two seasons ago so I am very happy for the team and for him because he is a very important player for us."

Pellegrini added: "I don't think that Yaya deserved the amount of criticism that he got last season.

"Maybe it was not his best season, but he didn't play so bad.

"But he is an important player for us so maybe he had more possibility.

"I am sure that last season his head was not in his best moment and it is very difficult for a player when you have so many problems.

Meanwhile, Vincent Kompany admits City's sloppy pre-season was a wake-up call for the squad.

They blew West Brom away on Monday to open their Premier League campaign in style, with Kompany himself sealing the win with a second-half header.

They lost 4-2 at Stuttgart 10 days ago and captain Kompany believes the defeat gave them inspiration to improve.

"We came out with a point to prove," the defender said.

"Last week, when we played against Stuttgart, it was a really poor performance and that was actually a good thing for us because we knew we had to work on a lot of things.

"If you look at the training sessions we did last week, you'll see this is a team with a lot of intensity. Seeing the faces, I knew the team would be ready for this game."

It was a stroll for Manuel Pellegrini's men with West Brom offering little resistance as new £12million record signing Salomon Rondon watched from the stands.

And boss Tony Pulis, who admitted he got his tactics wrong against City, still wants to do more business.

He said: "We need to strengthen the axis of the team. We will try to do that during the coming period. But as I've said before they have to be the right player. Any player we bring in has to strengthen the squad."

Meanwhile, Pellegrini hailed an "unbelievable" performance by David Silva during their 3-0 romp.

"I enjoy seeing technical players play well. David really played well -- especially in the first-half. It was an unbelievable performance. He did not make any mistakes," he said.

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