Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony will return to Manchester as winner following the Ivory Coast's 9-8 shoot-out win over Ghana on Sunday, but it won't be in time for them to play this Wednesday at Stoke.
The MEN's Stuart Brennan confirmed that the pair would not play:
No, Yaya and Bony won't be here for Stoke game - once they reached the final, that was out of the question— Stuart Brennan (@StuBrennanMEN) February 8, 2015
This followed Manuel Pellegrini's comments on the subject:
"No, I don't think it's possible," the City manager said, when asked about the Ivorians being rushed back into the team. "They played on Sunday, so it's not easy for them to just come, arrive and play so many games in just a few days."
The fact that they won't be available for selection is not a surprise. Despite the draw at home to Hull increasing the pressure on City needing to win, it would be a desperate move for Pellegrini to select either.
Don't forget, Bony has not even trained with his City team-mates as yet, and while Toure you think would slip into the line-up seamlessly there has been a tendancy for Pellegrini to not start him after a long trip back from international duty. Add to this the fact that they were not involved in a one-off game but an intense tournament - which we know can drain players - which finished in gruelling fashion, and surely pragmatism must come into effect.
With no game this coming weekend it would far more benefical to get the players back, rested and have the benefit of around 10 days before they are next due to play.