Xavi expecting tough test against 'monster' Toure

Barcelona string-puller Xavi expects a difficult night when he locks horns with former team-mate Yaya Toure against Manchester City.

The Blues entertain the four-time European Cup winners on Tuesday in a mouthwatering Champions League last 16 first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Xavi, who has made more than 700 competitive appearances for Barca, spent three glittering seasons alongside Ivorian powerhouse Toure at Camp Nou, winning two La Liga titles on top of a Champions League crown in 2009.

Toure moved to Manchester in 2010 and has been a key figure in the club's transformation into a European heavyweight, capturing the FA Cup in 2011 - their first silverware since 1976 - and Premier League a year later.

Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, tiki-taka technician Xavi admitted he is looking forward to meeting his great friend but knows a tough test awaits on the pitch.

"It will be very difficult, but we must be compact in midfield and defence," he said.

"We like to pressurise the ball, but Yaya has a lot of talent, he makes assists, physically he’s a monster, so it will be difficult. He’s a great player, but also a great person. We have great memories of him.

"He played a little bit further back here, at City he plays further forward. He’s extraordinary. I haven’t spoken to him since the draw because I don’t have a number for him, but it will great to see him."

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