FC Shakhtar Donetsk vs Man City - Toure thinks Man City are playing the best game in Europe

Posted Wednesday, December 06, 2017 by PA

Yaya Toure believes Manchester City are playing the best football in Europe.

The veteran midfielder has featured little this season but has been impressed by the performances of his team-mates.

City are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League and through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Toure said: "To be honest, at the moment we are very good. I think we practise the best football in Europe at the moment.

"When you see the team playing you are sure we are going to score goals because we see how we are dominating, how we control the game. It's fantastic."

Toure feels the team is making considerable strides under Pep Guardiola and is eager to challenge for Champions League glory again. The pair won the competition together with Barcelona in 2009.

Speaking at a press conference to preview Wednesday's Champions League clash away to Shakhtar Donetsk, Toure said: "As we go forward we are going to find some difficult opponents and we want to try to play against some big opponents to see where we are.

"The Champions League is probably the best competition in the world. To be able to win it again, to repeat what I did in 2009 with the manager in a different country, a different club, would be something special.

"But we have to wait because tomorrow we have Shakhtar."

Toure, 34, is likely to feature as Guardiola makes some changes for the final Group F game in Kharkiv.

The match has little consequence for City having already secured top spot in the group while they also have a derby with Manchester United at Old Trafford looming on Sunday.

Toure played for Metalurh Donetsk earlier in his career. Shakhtar have been unable to play in their home city for the past three years due to civil war.

Toure said: "I would love to be able to play in Donetsk again but we can't due to certain circumstances. They're a beautiful team with a great squad and coach."

Guardiola, sitting alongside Toure at the Metalist Stadium, insisted his team would not be easing up as they seek a club record-extending 21st consecutive win in all competitions.

The Spaniard said: "We travelled here to win the game, to make a good performance and show respect for the clubs and this competition. We are preparing to win the game and trying to do as much as possible to make a good game."

Shakhtar coach Paulo Fonseca is preparing for one of his toughest challenges as the Ukrainian champions need to deny City victory to guarantee themselves a place in the last 16.

Fonseca recognises that could be a tall order, with Guardiola's side on such a great run and earning lavish praise for a lot of their play.

Fonseca, who led Shakhtar to a domestic double last season, said: "If we look at City's performances this season, I think we can call them, if not the best, then definitely one of the best teams in the world right now.

"I have had similar deciders in my career but this is the first time I have had such a game in the Champions League."

Shakhtar, second in Group F, are trying protect a three-point lead over Napoli.

Defeat to group winners City would open the door for the Italians, who beat Shakhtar 3-0 last month and will be expected to see off Feyenoord in their last game.

Fonseca said: "We are not going to follow the game in Rotterdam. We will be doing our job here and if we do it well, if we play our best football, that match will not matter.

"We know Napoli will do their best to get the necessary result at Feyenoord."

Fonseca, who has previously coached Porto and led Braga to cup success in his native Portugal, was linked with Everton before the Merseyside club appointed Sam Allardyce recently.

Asked about the speculation, the 46-year-old said at his pre-match press conference: "My head and my heart are with Shakhtar."

Fonseca confirmed that Brazil coach Tite will attend Wednesday's game. Fonseca's squad contains seven Brazilians while City boast the likes of Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Danilo in their ranks.

Fonseca said: "We are very pleased he will come to Kharkiv to watch this game. I think he'll be watching not only our players but City's as well.

"If such a person watches you from the stands it can be extra motivation and I hope this will be the case with our Brazillians."



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