Sterling set for Manchester City debut against Roma
The England man completed his Â£49 million move
from Liverpool last week and is now ready to make
his first appearance for the Blues having joined up
with the squad in Australia
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed
Raheem Sterling is likely to feature against Roma on
Sterling has joined City for their pre-season tour of Australia
after completing an acrimonious transfer from Liverpool for
Â£49 million last week.
The England forward may not start the International
Champions Cup match against Serie A opposition at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday, but Pellegrini does
expect to hand the 20-year-old his first appearance in a sky
"Raheem has worked with us for three daysâ€¦ he will play
also some minutes," Pellegrini told a press conference when
asked about the clash with Rudi Garcia's men.
"It's important for him to try to have minutes with our
He added: "I know him because I played against him the last
"I think he's a very young player with a lot of ambition. And
that for me is very important."
Sterling is one of three English players brought in by City
during the last week, with Fabian Delph arriving from Aston
Villa and 18-year-old hot prospect Patrick Roberts swapping
Fulham for the Etihad Stadium.
And City No.1 Joe Hart believes the influx of young English
talent is a great boost to the club.
Quizzed on whether or not the new recruits would help to
add to City's British identity, England international Hart said:
"The club's got that.
"I've been here a long time and I've enjoyed every moment
of being at this club. We're a proud Premier League team.
"I'm pretty sure that we've made those signings because
they're very good footballers. It just happens to be that
they're English players, which is great.
"We look to sign the best players that we can. Two
especially (Sterling and Delph) have proven themselves in
the Premier League, [they are] exciting talents.
"Obviously Patrick's got a great reputation. We're going to
look to build him and hopefully make him one of our stars of
City had to move their final pre-match training session to
neighbouring AAMI Park due to the poor condition of the
MCG surface following heavy rain and an AFL match on
Sunday after Roma beat Real Madrid 7-6 on penalties on
Pellegrini says he is "concerned" about the state of the
playing surface, and also admitted marathon pre-season
tours are less than ideal.
"Yes, I am concerned," he said. "We know it's not in the best
shape. They play already the game against Roma with Real
Madrid. That was the reason we changed the place where
we are going to [hold] the open training. I hope that the
pitch will be at least in normal conditions.
"It's important to play at least six friendly games, we are
going to do it.
"Of course if you can make less travel it's better. But I think
it's very difficult for all the big teams at this moment not to
come to play here in Australia, in the United States or in
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