Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure hopes West Bromwich Albion will not erect a defensive brick wall when his side travel to The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Premier League leaders City needed a penalty shootout to overcome Albion’s Midlands neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fourth round of the League Cup on Tuesday after 120 goalless minutes at the Etihad Stadium.
And Toure is desperate for the Baggies to at least show some signs of attacking play on home turf in their league encounter.
“I hope in the next game it’s much easier because when you give teams so many chances to believe and be in the game, it’s so hard and so difficult,” Toure said.
“It’s so difficult when teams defend en masse. The striker stays with the holding midfielder, it’s unbelievable.”
City were indebted to goalkeeper Claudio Bravo against Wolves after he saved two spot-kicks during a 4-1 victory in the shoot-out.
The Chile international has lost his place to Ederson, who joined City from Benfica in June, but Toure said Bravo’s performance against Wolves was a sign he could force his way back into the first team.
“Frustration is part of life,” the Ivory Coast great added. “In your job, sometimes you feel frustrated. It’s part of life we have to understand.
“Bravo is a player with big experience, like me. We are always delighted if we help the team move forward. That’s the best thing we can do.
“The club is wanting to win trophies consistently. It will be difficult but we need all the players and I think Claudio showed he deserved to play and be at this club.”
City manager Pep Guardiola is unlikely to take any chances with midfielder Ilkay Gundogan against West Brom and the German failed to finish the game with Wolves.
Skipper Vincent Kompany (calf) and fellow defender Benjamin Mendy (knee) are both longer term absentees for City.
West Brom have breathed a sigh of relief after Craig Dawson’s injury was found to be not as serious as first feared, although he will still miss out against City.
– ‘Kiss and a cuddle’ for Chadli –
Scans have revealed Dawson will be out for eight weeks with a knee problem sustained in the 1-0 defeat by Southampton last week amid concerns the defender had suffered cruciate ligament damage.
But Dr Mark Gillett, Albion’s director of performance, said: “The injury gave Craig a serious thigh muscle bleed and a torn knee capsule.
“We are heartened that it’s already showing an improvement and surgery is not required.”
Head coach Tony Pulis is looking for club record signing Nacer Chadli to relieve the pressure he’s under from fans after just two wins in 18 Premier League games, with Albion’s last last three points against Burnley back on August 19.
Chadli made a scoring comeback in the 1-0 win at Leicester on October 16 after being left out when he snubbed the club’s pre-season training camp in Austria before being sidelined with a muscle strain.
“Nacer had a telling off, and he responded to that. And he had a kiss and cuddle and he responded to that,” Pulis said.
Baggies midfielder James Morrison is also struggling to feature against City as he continues his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury.
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