09 Dec Yaya still in my plans
Yaya Toure’s drink-driving charge will not affect his chances of selection for Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Leicester on Saturday.
The 33-year-old was charged last Tuesday after being stopped in Dagenham and is due to appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on December 13.
The news broke after Toure came off the bench during City’s 3-1 defeat by Chelsea last weekend.
Fernandinho’s dismissal at the Etihad Stadium and subsequent three-match ban increases Toure’s chances of returning to the starting line-up against the Premier League champions.
Guardiola said: “I spoke to him about the issue. He gave me his reasons. I trust him. I take the decisions on what I see on the pitch about his behaviour.
“I said before he played at Crystal Palace that he’s part of the team because he’s training good. He’s fit. I love midfield players. If I could play with 11 midfield players I would, and he’s one of them.
“Then, after the charge, we are going to see what is the solution.”
This will be the first Premier League game Fernandinho has missed this season, and Guardiola said: “He’s so important for us.”
City must also cope without Sergio Aguero, whose challenge on David Luiz sparked the melee in which Fernandinho was also sent off, and defender Nicolas Otamendi, who picked up a fifth yellow card against Chelsea.
Guardiola has, though, been boosted by the fitness of winger Raheem Sterling, who has recovered from the knock he suffered against Burnley two weeks ago.
The loss to Chelsea, in which City conceded three goals in the last half an hour, left Guardiola’s side four points behind the league leaders but he was upbeat afterwards about their performance.
And the Catalan is confident, if they show the same form they did last weekend and in the Champions League draw with Celtic in midweek, the results will follow.
He said: “In the long term, if you play good you are going to win. I want to feel. I am a coach for the results of course or I wouldn’t be here but I want to enjoy with my team.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit sad when you deserve to win but you are not able but it happens to all teams around the world. Always I am focused on the way you have to play, not the result. The result is a consequence of what you do.
“If we play like we did against Chelsea or Celtic, we are going to do good things. If we play like (in wins over) Crystal Palace or Burnley, we are not going to do absolutely anything.”
City can pile more misery on Leicester, who sit only two points above the relegation zone and were thrashed 5-0 by Porto in the Champions League in midweek.
The Foxes were already guaranteed to top the group and fielded a second-string side but it was nevertheless another blow to their confidence.
Leicester have lost their last three Premier League games, but Guardiola expects Claudio Ranieri’s team to come good.
He said:”The Premier League is tough. Sometimes it can happen. Leicester, what I saw these last days, remain a good team. I have a lot of respect for Claudio Ranieri.
“You have to handle the situation of last season. It was outstanding, it was amazing what they did and the way they did it.
“Sometimes a new competition, the Champions League, they were first in the group stage. Maybe the players were so focused on the Champions League, the first experience in their lives, the travel, the music everything. Sometimes you are not focused on the Premier League.
“But now they have qualified they have two months to focus on the Premier League. The players are there, the defensive structure is quite solid and the goalkeeper is really good.
“They have a lot of quality and I’m pretty sure they are going to come back to what they deserve.”