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Guardiola: Toure could feature against Steaua

Pep Guardiola could select Yaya Toure for the first time in a competitive match when Manchester City take on Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League.

City lead 5-0 from the first leg of their play-off and Guardiola is expected to rotate his squad for the return fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

Toure, who was not always in favour with Guardiola during their time at Barcelona, is yet to feature for City this season, but the Spaniard suggested that could change on Wednesday.

“Joe Hart and Yaya Toure have a chance to play tomorrow,” Guardiola said at Tuesday’s media conference.

“We had 28 players in the training session. It’s difficult for me to leave players who deserve to play out.

“We’ve played tough games in the last week. I will make some rotations with the players.

“I like to play with a short squad with three, four or five players who are multi-functional. That won’t happen because we have a huge squad with long contracts.

“Also the Premier League has a much more physical game.”

Guardiola revealed that Bacary Sagna would not return before the Manchester derby against United on September 10, while Ilkay Gundogan and Vincent Kompany will be unavailable for at least another 10 days.

Despite their more-than-healthy first-leg advantage over Steaua, Guardiola insisted City would not take the Romanian side lightly.

“I have a lot of respect for the opponents and I know what can happen in football,” he said. “Everybody knows nothing is done until it is done. We are so happy with 5-0 but we have to take the opponent seriously and try to win the game.

“Look at the [2005] Champions League final with Liverpool and AC Milan – 3-0 at half-time and that was a Milan with many experienced players.

“We have a huge advantage but we will not play tomorrow thinking it’s done.

“Results help us to be more calm. We have to try to play as good as possible to achieve the result. I was pretty sure we would be able to do that.”

Tue 23 Aug, 2016
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