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Manchester City’s box-to-box midfielder Yaya Toure is widely regarded as one of the side’s most influential players since signing from Catalan giants Barcelona in 2010.
Often known for his rampaging runs through midfield and his casual swagger style of play, Toure has risen to star status during his time in the Premier League. He’s been utilised largely in two positions for the Citizens – as a holding midfielder or a central midfielder given license to roam up the pitch.
This season has once again seen him playing a relinquished role in midfield, positioned in front of the defence as protection. New manager Manuel Pellegrini has used the 30-year old to break up the attacks and move the ball on in a swift fashion, or to set up counter attacks – dribbling the ball out of midfield at a minimum.
When title rivals Manchester United come to town this weekend, the Ivory Coast international will be a key player for the hosts. Yaya Toure has boasted high ball-retention stats early on this season – a 90.8% pass completion, while making an average of 86.8 passes per league game.
Manchester United duo Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney will have been targeted as the two biggest creative threats to the side, and the pair will need to be kept from picking out passes in the final third whenever possible.
As Rooney can often drop very deep to receive the ball, the job to stop both him and Carrick from playing will be on Yaya Toure, and should he collect the ball after making a challenge or interception, he’ll then be required to launch a counter-attack or to simply play it to an available teammate close-by.
Toure could be a pivotal player for Manchester City this weekend, and he could well be the one who decides which sides come out the victors in the pending clash.
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