Yaya Toure will be Manuel Pellegrini’s main man on Wednesday night when Manchester City host Bayern Munich in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium. The clash between two of Europe’s heavyweight sides is set to be one of the standout fixtures of this season’s group stages, and the Ivorian will be crucial to City’s chances.
Toure has been City’s star player this season, scoring a magnificent goal against Viktoria Plzen in City’s opening group game.
If Toure can maintain his goalscoring start to the season then City will be good value for a positive result.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s astute signing of Fernandinho has given Toure greater freedom to roam this season.
With Fernandinho adept at controlling things in the middle of the pitch, it’s vital for City that Toure makes his trademark bursts forwards in order to put pressure on Bayern.
Toure will be particularly important if he can target and overcome Bayern’s Philipp Lahm.
A wonderful player in his own right, Lahm has been deployed in midfield by Pep Guardiola this season.
He does, however, lack physical stature and Toure will be looking to exploit that.
City have endured two poor European campaigns of late, and Toure spoke of the importance of performing well in the Champions League this season, as per the BBC:
The last two years were quite disappointing for us, for the fans and for the club. It's important for us to prove to the fans who love Manchester City that this year is going to be our year. Our most important target is getting through to the second round and showing improvement.
There is no doubt that Toure is looking to make sure that this is his side’s year.
If there’s one noticeable improvement in Toure’s game this season, it’s how clinical he’s been in front of goal.
Manchester City star Yaya Toure has scored 5 goals in 7 EPL & UCL games this season from 10 shots. That's a 50% chance conversion rate.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 30, 2013
City’s showing against Bayern will go a long way to demonstrating their European credentials this season. If they are to go far into the latter rounds then Yaya Toure will be his team’s main man.
Powerful and technical in equal measures, Toure’s box-to-box ability will be difficult for Bayern and Europe’s other top sides to handle.
World football is blessed with plenty of talented midfielders at current. A strong showing from Toure in Europe this season could go a long way to illustrating why he is one of the finest.