Victory over Chelsea is vital – Sterling

The summer signing from Liverpool insists his new club must achieve a positive result this weekend when they face the Premier League champions at home in an early season clash

Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling believes it is “vital” his team beat Chelsea when the two title rivals meet at the Etihad on Sunday.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men kicked off the new campaign with an impressive 3-0 away victory against West Brom after two goals from Yaya Toure and an accurate header from captain Vincent Kompany.

Ahead of the early-season clash with the defending Premier League champions, £49m summer recruit Sterling says it is crucial his new team get off to the best possible start.

“I’m hoping this one will go our way and it’s vital that it does. We’re on our own ground and with it being our first home game of the season, we want to get off on the right foot,” he told the club’s official website.

“I’ve done alright against them in the past and results-wise, I think it’s been pretty even overall so far in the matches I’ve played in.

“The only promise I will make is that I will try my best at all times – I will aim to create and score as many goals as I can for the team and work really hard every week.

“I’ve set myself targets for goals and assists and I know where I want to be but I don’t really want to reveal what they are because I’ll put myself under massive pressure – but I’ve got personal goals that I want to reach this season for City and hopefully I can meet them.”

Sterling expects the title race to be tight, with City and Chelsea expected to be joined by the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in challenging.

“It’s going to be a really tough season,” the 20-year-old forward said.

“Everyone has strengthened their squads and the Premier League is always hard to second guess.

“Chelsea are very strong in every department from their defence and midfield to their attack, but it should be a good game and I’m really looking forward to playing in this match.”

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