PARIS, Sporting Alert – Manchester City will be without Yaya Toure for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris St Germain.
The star midfielder who missed the weekend’s 4-0 victory over Bournemouth with a knee injury, has also been ruled out of the trip to Paris, manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed on Tuesday.
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Another key figure missing out as well is leading centre-back and captain Vincent Kompany, who is still to recover from a calf problem.
However, first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart is available again, after the England international recovered from a calf injury he picked up in the defeat against Manchester United prior to the international break.
Hart trained with the rest of the squad this week and will start in goal.
“Joe Hart has worked without any problem for the last few days and we tested him today,” Pellegrini said at his prematch press conference.
“There’s always a risk when a player returns from injury, but I don’t think there’s a problem with him playing.”
Manchester City are hoping to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history, and Pellegrini is bracing for a tough tie against a side PSG, which heads into its fourth successive quarter-final.
“It’ll be difficult but I believe we have a chance,” Pellegrini admitted. “Paris are a very good team, with a project similar to Manchester City in a sense, trying to grow year by year.
“Both teams have an opportunity to push on. I don’t think there’s a clear favourite in this tie.”
Meanwhile, PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes into Wednesday’s clash in rich form, after the Sweden international netted his first home hat-trick of the season in a 4-1 victory over Nice in the French league.
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Paris St Germain, after dumping English Premier League side Chelsea from the Champions League in the last round, enter this matchup at slight favourites to win at home, but manager Laurent Blanc has warned his players about complacency, especially after avoiding the likes of Barcelona and Bayern.
“They say experience can make the difference in ties such as this and that every detail counts. After the draw, some were relieved and said it was a good one for us as we avoided the two giants, Barcelona and Bayern,” Blanc said at his prematch press conference.
“I strongly warned my players not to listen to that. Those who say that don’t understand anything about football.
“We’ll be up against a team with quality and quality in depth – their squad overall has much more quality than ours. These will be two difficult and delicate games.”
In the other Champions League quarter-final game on Wednesday, Wolfsburg will entertain a very confident Real Madrid side, which is coming off a 2-1 win over Barcelona in La Liga action over the weekend.