MADRID, Sporting Alert – Yaya Toure remains doubtful for Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, despite training ahead of the second leg clash at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
The Ivory Coast midfielder missed the Citizens’ last two games, including the first leg tie with a thigh injury, but has returned to training.
Toure is scheduled for a fitness test before kick-off and his reaction to the session will determine if he features or not.
The 32-year-old has missed eight out of the last 14 games with injuries, but would be a welcoming addition to the midfield as Manchester is City try to upset the European powerhouses in their own backyard and secure a place in their first ever Champions League final.
Meanwhile, after missing the first leg because of injury, Cristiano Ronaldo is set to play for Real Madrid in the second leg.
The Portugal international missed the first leg tie, which ended 1-1, due to a thigh problem, but he’s fit again to return.
“Cristiano [Ronaldo] is fine, 100%,” Madrid boss Zinédine Zidane said. “There’s no risk – he’s training.
“He’s improved over the last week. He is a player who looks after himself and recovers quickly.”
The return of Ronaldo will certainly cause additional problems for Manchester City, but Manuel Pellegrini is warning his team that the hosts are more than just Ronaldo.
He noted: “Great matches are decided by the best, but we have to play as a team defensively and offensively against Real Madrid.
“Cristiano will always be a different player,” he added. “He has scored a lot of goals in his six years here but I don’t think Real Madrid is just Cristiano.
“If he plays, we must cope with it. We must defend and attack as a team, not just against Cristiano but against Real Madrid.”
Pellegrini, a former Real Madrid manager, has strong belief in his squad.
“I have very good memories of being here,” he said. “The pressure at this stadium is always great but we have the personality and team to win it.
“Our aim must be to get to a final that we have never before reached. We have a lot of faith in our ability and expect to prove it. It’s always good to be back at the Santiago Bernabeu.”
The winner of this tie will move on to take on Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid in the final and Zidane believes it would “be a disaster” if Real were to lose.
“It will be a disaster if we don’t go through,” the 1998 World Cup French international revealed. “This will be a tougher game than the first leg because we know it will all be decided.
“They have good players, especially up front, but we’ll play our football as always. We won’t have the same game as the second leg against Wolfsburg.
“We can’t think we’ll score two or three inside 15 minutes. It’s a different game and we know we’ll suffer from the first minute to the 90th. We need to be patient and calm.