Wednesday, May 24, 2017

City without Toure for Real Madrid semi-final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 May 2016

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Manchester City will be without Yaya Toure for their Champions League semi-final second leg at Real Madrid due to a thigh injury.

Toure sustained the problem during the closing stages of a 4-0 win over Stoke City on April 23 but the influential midfielder raised hopes of a return by training with Manuel Pellegrini’s squad in Manchester on Tuesday.

But Toure, along with Spain playmaker David Silva (hamstring) were not among the travelling party that departed Manchester Airport for the Spanish capital later in the day.

City are in the semi-final of Europe’s premier competition for the first time and the tie is deadlocked at 0-0 following last week’s first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Silva suffered his injury during that match and it was hoped Toure could provide an alternative to the former Valencia man’s creative talents at the Santiago Bernabeu.

In Toure’s absence, Pellegrini could opt to bolster his midfield by selecting England international Fabian Delph, who has endured an injury-plagued debut season at City.

Raheem Sterling or Kelechi Iheanacho are more attacking alternatives, with teenage striker Iheanacho having continued his superb breakthrough campaign with a brace in Sunday’s abject 4-2 defeat at Southampton.

Real Madrid were without Cristiano Ronaldo due to a hamstring strain during the Manchester encounter but the three-time Ballon d’Or winner returned to training on Sunday and coach Zinedine Zidane stated his star forward is “100 per cent” fit.

But the hosts will be with striker Karim Benzema due to a hamstring problem of his own, while holding midfielder Casemiro (hip) is also absent.

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