Manchester City defender Kolo Toure talks of secret plan to combat Stoke
Tuesday 20 December 2011
Manchester City defender Kolo Toure has revealed the Blues have come up with a secret weapon to stop Stoke tomorrow.
City entertain Tony Pulis' outfit at the Etihad Stadium knowing they only need a point to secure top spot on Christmas Day for the first time since 1929.
Although they emerged victorious in May's FA Cup final meeting between the teams at Wembley, plus the subsequent Barclays Premier League encounter three days later, Roberto Mancini has not tended to find Stoke particularly easy to overcome.
But Toure thinks they have found a new method of control.
"We all know about Stoke," said the Ivorian.
"They have a great manager and great players. They are strong in the air and we have a lot of respect for them.
"They will be even more motivated because we beat them in the FA Cup final, so we are going to take it really seriously.
"But we have found a way to deal with them. I am just not going to say what it is."
Toure made an unexpected return to the City line-up for Sunday's victory over former club Arsenal, although he is by no means certain to keep his place given the additional bombardment expected from Stoke.
The 30-year-old could do with as many opportunities to impress as possible given he will soon depart with brother Yaya for an African Nations Cup campaign that will begin against Sudan in Malabo on January 22.
"It is always really difficult for us in this period," said Toure.
"You need to stay for your club but at the same time, you have to think about the national team. It is hard for everybody."
Mancini has already claimed that if City are still top by the time Toure and his brother return in February, their chances of winning the title are high.
It is not an assessment the former Gunners star disagrees with.
"Why not?" he said.
"I will be in contact all the time and watch the games on TV.
"We know there are some fantastic players who will be doing their best.
"I am sure we will still be at the top."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Arsenal player ratings vs Besiktas
Besiktas vs Arsenal player ratings: Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers - who was the Gunners star man?
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 4 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermeister and vodka
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head