Kolo Toure insists Manchester City are prepared to deal Stoke’s physical nature when they go up against the Potters on Wednesday – and says they have a secret weapon to help defeat them.
City’s 1-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday helped them regain a two point lead at the top of the Premier League table having briefly been knocked down into second place by Manchester United’s 2-0 win over QPR.
Now Roberto Mancini’s men face a stern test against an in-form Stoke side that has won their last four Premier League encounters, including ending in-form Tottenham’s 11 game unbeaten streak earlier this month.
Tony Pulis’s side will also be seeking revenge for their 1-0 FA Cup final defeat at the hands of Manchester City last year at Wembley, but Toure insists they are equipped to deal with all the Stoke throw at them, and will use a special, but unidentified tactic to negate their opponents physical threat.
We all know about Stoke," he said.
"They have a great manager and great players. They are strong in the air and we have a lot of respect for them.
"They will be even more motivated because we beat them in the FA Cup final, so we are going to take it really seriously.
"But we have found a way to deal with them. I am just not going to say what it is." He added.
Toure made his return to the City line up against his former club on Sunday and is in contention for a spot against Stoke on Sunday, but described his impending departure for the African Cup of Nations as “difficult”.
"It is always really difficult for us in this period," said the Ivorian, who will be joined by his brother Yaya Toure in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for the tournament.
"You need to stay for your club but at the same time, you have to think about the national team. It is hard for everybody."