Sterling hands Man City injury boost as he is declared fit to play Real Madrid

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that Raheem Sterling is fit to play in the first leg of their Champions League knockout tie with Real Madrid .

Sterling limped off in City’s 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month and did not make the squad for their subsequent games against West Ham and Leicester .

This prompted concerns about his availability for the trip to Madrid but Guardiola has now confirmed Sterling is fit enough to feature.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: “Raheem is fit. His physical condition and regeneration is amazing.

“He said he could have played against West Ham and Leicester but the doctor said it was too soon. But that was a good sign.”

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Speaking about the upcoming last 16 clash, Guardiola added: “We play a big team. We know the challenge we have to face.

“You never know what’s going to happen. We have an opportunity. We try to be ourselves. The desire to win has to be there or it’s impossible but it’s just another game.

“That’s all. You need to play good – that’s the first. We have to be strong, have quality and need to have luck.

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“At this stage, it’s important but we cannot control that. We can control what we can control and we will see.

“This competition, last season, against Liverpool, there are decisions. You have to overcome. You need incredible concentration in our game and game plan plus try to be a little lucky.”

Meanwhile, Sterling recently courted criticism from City supporters after being pictured with a Real Madrid shirt ahead of the match.

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As part of an interview with Spanish publication AS, Sterling took photos with both City and Real shirts draped over his shoulders.

The England international was also asked about rumours of a move to the Bernabeu and replied: “How do I answer that one? Is the camera live or is it just taking pictures?

“No one knows what the future will hold. I am a player and I am always open to challenges but right now my challenge is at City and I'm really happy.”

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