Manuel Pellegrini confirmed Manchester City will be without Yaya Toure for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
Toure sustained a thigh injury during the closing stages of Saturday’s 4-0 Premier League win over Stoke City and the midfielder was absent from Monday’s open training session at the City Football Academy.
Speaking at his pre-match news conference, Pellegrini conceded Tuesday’s clash with Zinedine Zidane’s men was likely to come too soon for the 32-year-old Ivory Coast international, who may also miss next week’s return at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“Yaya I think is going to be out. He’s not recovered from the muscle injury,” Pellegrini said.
“We’ll see during the week in the way he improves. I don’t think he will be fit for Sunday [to face Southampton in the Premier League].
“We will see for the second leg but it depends on the way he improves this week.”
Toure’s absence means Fernadinho and Fernando are likely to reprise the midfield partnership that worked effectively in City’s quarter-final triumph over Paris Saint-Germain and Pellegrini has full confidence in the Brazilian duo.
“Whenever Fernandinho and Fernando have played together they have played well, including some key games in Europe against PSG and Roma,” Pellegrini added.
“So I am very confident in what they can provide for us.”
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