Toure joins City's injury list ahead of visit to Stoke City

Yaya Toure in action against Sevilla in the Champions League. City will miss the Ivorian's presence in today's match against Stoke as he is sidelined with injury.
Yaya Toure in action against Sevilla in the Champions League. City will miss the Ivorian's presence in today's match against Stoke as he is sidelined with injury.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Manchester City have suffered another major injury blow as they head to Stoke City today.

The Premier League leaders will be without Yaya Toure, who has joined the club's lengthy list of injured players.

The influential midfielder has a muscle problem and will join Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, Patrick Roberts and Pablo Zabaleta on the sidelines.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini will also be without defender Eliaquim Mangala, who is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Hull in midweek.

City's tally of injuries for the season has now gone up to 36, but Pellegrini believes he has a strong squad to cope with the lay-offs.

"Joe (Hart) worked yesterday and today without any problems, so he's in the squad list - we'll see tomorrow if he can play," the manager told journalists yesterday.

City's No. 1 goalkeeper missed the last two games with a hamstring problem picked up in the Champions League defeat by Juventus.

"We'll see on Kun (Aguero), he's recovering from his heel (problem). He's in pain so it's not easy for him to work. I don't think he will be fit," added Pellegrini.

Significantly for City's hopes of maintaining their position at the top, midfielder David Silva and forward Wilfried Bony proved they are back to full fitness by helping them thrash Hull to reach the League Cup semi-finals in midweek.

The duo's return is well timed as City look to pull clear of second-placed Leicester, who are behind the leaders on goal difference.

"We don't depend on one or two players. We have an average of six players injured every game but even so we're through to the last 16 of the Champions League and into the semi-final of the League Cup," said Pellegrini.

"I think for a manager the best thing is to try and keep the starting XI when you are winning but it's impossible with the amount of games we're playing. It doesn't matter which names start as we will play the same style."

The manager stressed the importance of a strong start against 12th-placed Stoke who, under former City manager Mark Hughes, have changed the way they play over the past few seasons.

"It's important to be aggressive from the start as Stoke want to make the difference," said Pellegrini. "They now try to not always play with high balls. They try to have more possession - by the characteristics of their players they still try to score with crosses but it's a mix now. It will be tough against an important team."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Toure joins City's injury list ahead of visit to Stoke City'. Print Edition | Subscribe