Pep Guardiola vows Yaya Toure still has a vital role to play for Manchester City this season, after the Ivorian midfielder was left out of his side’s Champions League win against Feyenoord on Wednesday.
City can go top of the Premier League on Saturday night if they manage to avoid defeat against Marco Silva’s Watford at Vicarage Road tomorrow afternoon.
For the home side, only a win will take them to the summit of the table with Watford just two points off both Manchester clubs at the top of the table.
The Hornets have kept seven clean sheets so far in 2017, with three of those coming in the last three games under the stewardship of Portuguese boss Marco Silva.
City are white hot at the other end, scoring nine goals in their last two games without reply. In the same fixture last season, the Citizens won 5-0 to secure an automatic Champions League slot on the final day.
Toure started that game, but Guardiola gave no indications that he will be ready for tomorrow.
“I need him [Toure]. He is so important, I admire what he has done and in his career. He is an exceptional player,” Guardiola said.
One player who is expected to play is Vincent Kompany, the City skipper having missed the last two matches through injury.
“Vincent trained with us (Man City), I think for the next days he will be able to play again. We are ok.”
Spaniard Guardiola confirmed he expected a demanding game, especially after just three days and the travelling.
“We have to handle the situation,” he said.
“Last season we had a problem scoring. But now we have players that play more in and not wide. They help our strikers,” he added.
“I would like everybody to be involved but I think about every game and what is the best team to play. We will see.”
City are clearly in confident mood, but Watford may prove a tough nut to crack even for their potent strike force.
Silva has a more than respectable home record in English football so far. He has only lost two out of eleven games while in charge of Hull City and Watford.
If his impressive home record continues and Watford collect all three points, the Hornets will spend Saturday night at the top of the Premier League table. That would be a first.
Image courtesy of Man City via YouTube, with thanks.