Yaya forecasts wide open title race
- 26 July 2013 09:02
- Posted by @mccarthy_mcfc
Yaya Toure has predicted that there will be four or five teams in contention for the Premier League crown this season.
The Ivorian was speaking on the eve of Saturday afternoon’s Barclays Asia Trophy final against Sunderland at Hong Kong Stadium.
City overcame South China FC and some treacherous conditions in the Far East to book this clash with the Black Cats and the African Player of the Year is ready to seize this first shot at silverware in the 2013/14 season.
“It was a good match against South China,” the 30-year old said, “We tried to repeat what we did in training and what the manager told us to do and I think we played well.
“The manager is encouraging us to keep possession of the ball and when we lose it, to put pressure on the opponents and to always try to play in their half.
“The pitch was not very good, but to play in difficult conditions is not so bad at all, we have to adapt and play the best possible football.”
An encounter with Premier League opposition in the upcoming final offers the perfect pre-season workout for Manuel Pellegrini’s men as City prepare for what Yaya believes could be a wide open title race.
“The Premier League is not easy. We know this year is going to be very exciting and very difficult,” he said.
“I think this year it’s not going to be one team, it’s going to be four or five teams competing for the title because the Premier League is one of the top leagues in the world.”
Saturday’s meeting with Paolo Di Canio’s men also offers the opportunity to perhaps a chance to see some of City’s new recruits in action.
Alvaro Negredo’s eye-catching cameo from the bench was one highlight of the South China victory and Yaya believes that his quartet of new teammates can light up the Premier League next season.
“We have four new players coming in and I hope they adapt very quickly to the Premier League because we have a great squad and a fantastic manager and I hope this year is going to be good for us,” he declared.
“They have just started pre-season and I hope they can get going very soon. We have a very good squad now; every player could play in the first eleven.”
With the opening Premier League game against Newcastle United just 24 days away, Toure is eager to put any disappointments or regrets from last season behind him to focus on what could be another historic campaign for City.
“Last season was not too bad at all for us, but United was just too good,” he admitted.
“I think this year we need to work very hard in every aspect and try to improve our game.
“It is also important that we enjoy the football and to play well for the fans.”
Kick-off at Hong Kong Stadium is at 13:30 BST. You can follow live updates from the Far East on our official Twitter account, read a full match report after full-time and get all of the post-match reaction here on mcfc.co.uk.