Friday Kickoff: Toure brothers return for City, Pitroipa available for Burkina Faso, and more

BY DAN KARELL

Manchester City will continue their pursuit of Manchester United in the Premier League table this weekend with the aid of brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure, who have both returned from South Africa after Ivory Coast was knocked out in the quarter-final round.

In addition, Roberto Mancini was given another boost with the news that injured captain Vincent Kompany had trained with the club this week, and could be set for a return after two weeks on the sidelines, though the club will make their decision today on whether Kompany will feature.

Yaya Toure featured in all four of his nation’s matches at the African Cup of Nations, while Kolo featured in all but one, with Yaya scoring on two occasions.

The Citizens currently sit nine points behind Manchester United in the table, with 13 matches remaining in the season.

Here are some other stories to get your Friday started:

PITROIPA HAS RED CARD RESCINDED

Burkina Faso have been granted a lifeline, as they head into their first ever African Cup of Nations final in their nation’s history.

The Confederation of African Football announced on Friday that they had rescinded the red card that Burkinabe forward Jonathan Pitroipa received in the 117th minute of Burkina Faso’s win on penalty kicks against Ghana on Wednesday. Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi gave Pitroipa a second yellow card for diving, but after the match acknowledged that it was a mistake.

The 26-year-old striker has played in all five matches for his country, scoring two goals, second most on the team.

BECKHAM COULD PLAY AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEKEND

David Beckham, fresh off signing a five-month contract with French giants Paris Saint-Germain, has been making such progress on his fitness that he could be made available for selection in PSG’s game on Sunday February 18 at Sochaux.

The 37-year-old midfielder has been training in London under the eyes of PSG coaches, in order to raise his fitness level. The club have already announced that he will travel with the squad to Valencia on Tuesday for their Champions League match, though he will not be featuring in the match.

Beckham has not played a competitive match since December 1 of last year, when his Los Angeles Galaxy side won the MLS Cup over the Houston Dynamo.

QUICK KICKS

Sydney FC forward Alessandro Del Piero believes that match-fixing and doping is a global sports problem. (REPORT)

After completing his move on deadline day, Mexican national team midfielder Javier Aquino has finally arrived in Villarreal. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich could be without Bastien Schweinsteiger for this weekend’s match against Schalke, after his ankle injury has not healed as fast as hoped. (REPORT)

Brazilian side Gremio are set to ban the “Avalanche”, the traditional goal scoring celebration by the fans, after eight fans were injured when a fence collapsed in the club’s most recent home match. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think the Toure brothers can help push City towards a title? Do you agree with the CAF’s decision to rescind the Petroipa red card? Do you see Beckham playing so soon, after a long layoff?

Share your thoughts below.

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3 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Toure brothers return for City, Pitroipa available for Burkina Faso, and more

  1. afghan man says:

    Lets go Burkina Faso. literally millions of people are first learning that this country exists

    and yo Del Piero, match fixing is indeed a global sports problem but mostly an Italian football program.

  2. Travis says:

    Glad to see the Burkina Faso red card overturned, a federation using a bit of sense is a rare thing.

  3. tebatso says:

    Pple jonathan Pitroipa his a gud player i wix he could play for gud clubs like manutd even sir alex hate fatal pple in his club bt pitroipa his a gud player i wix all the best for this youngster,PITROIPA ur my ur my favourate player in ur country!!