French leaders Monaco a good match for Pep's Manchester City

Manchester City are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League home games (W5 D3), conceding only five goals in the along the way, their longest run without a defeat in the competition at the Etihad.

Those days appear to have gone. They spend a lot of time in opposition penalty area. The people can think, okay, because it's Manchester City, English football and the most media and advertising in the world [in the Premier League] you have to be. It's as much a tale of the 33-year-old Toure's enduring quality and hunger as circumstance and opportunism. That came when one fellow midfielder (Fernandinho) was hit with a four-match ban and another (Ilkay Gundogan) sustained a season-ending knee injury. It is a message that I pass on to the players: whether playing [French non-league side] Chambly, PSG or Tottenham, it's always the same style.

The Monaco defender will face Manchester City on Tuesday night in the Champions League - just one of the clubs he has been linked with, along with neighbours United and Arsenal. "Last year, he wasn't that sharp".

Yaya Toure has been successfully reintegrated into midfield alongside Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, having previously been frozen out by Guardiola.

With both sides only keeping one clean sheet each in this season's Champions League plenty of goals is highly likely. "It is a very important game in the history of the club", said Sampaoli, with Sevilla having only once reached the European Cup quarter-finals, in 1957-58. He helped the club to be where it is. Even in Barcelona, even in Bayern Munich where they have more experience and play to win the competition.

Monaco will be a big test for Toure.

Joao Moutinho, a European champion with Portugal, can not get into the team and 18-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe, whose 11 goals this season include two hat-tricks, begins most games on the bench.

Monaco will be a level up from that.

"As a spectator it is so nice to see them", he said. I can imagine why he would want to convey that message, but we have seen what they are capable of and it will not be easy to stop them.

After a dismal two-season spell in the Premier League, the Colombia worldwide has looked back to his best in 2016-17, scoring 16 times in the league at a rate of better than a goal a game, per WhoScored.

Claudio Bravo, signed amid great fanfare to replace Joe Hart, has been axed after a string of weak displays, meaning Willy Caballero, City's nominal third-choice goalkeeper in August, is now the number one.

  • Julie Sanders