Despite an impressive return to the Manchester City first team, midfield ace Yaya Touré looks set to start on the bench when City host league leaders Chelsea on Saturday.
According to both the Daily Star and Daily Express, Yaya’s resurgence won’t be enough to win him a spot in this weekend’s big game, with German midfielder İlkay Gündoğan expected to return to the starting eleven.
Guardiola’s preferred midfield combination remains Gündoğan and Fernandinho, and unless he opts for a more conservative approach against Chelsea, Touré will have to be content with a place among the substitutes, it is reported.
The Star reports that Guardiola wants Fernandinho to anchor the midfield, allowing Gündoğan to roam forward to help the likes of Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva in attack.
Even if he doesn’t start, Touré could be a useful substitution in the second half if City are in need of a result or Chelsea start to feel the effects of what should be one of the season’s most intense big matches to date.
John Stones is also expected to return to the side after he, like Gündoğan, was rested for last weekend’s win over Burnley.