Men's Team

Sterling to start, Toure doubt for Anfield clash

Raheem Sterling will start for Manchester City against Liverpool at Anfield, but Yaya Toure is a doubt for the game with a foot problem.

Boss Manuel Pellegrini is fully confident that young winger Sterling will be able to deal with an intense Anfield atmosphere.

The manager also hailed Sterling’s Capital One Cup final performance despite a couple of missed chances at Wembley.

Pellegrini, who will make a final check on Toure before the game, said: "I don’t know what the starting XI will be yet, but one player who I’m sure will start is Raheem Sterling.

"He’s a young man, a young player starting his career, but he knows how to deal with pressure.

"He’ll receive the same treatment tomorrow as he did at the weekend, but I’m sure he can play without a problem, and he’ll be a very important player, as he was in last game."

Pellegrini added: "I don’t have any doubts about him, it’s important for him to play under pressure, that’s what big players do.

"I have 100 per cent trust in Raheem. He will play tomorrow and he’ll be important.

"I think in the way he played the other day he demonstrated - maybe he missed a goal - he worked, was always concentrated, and he was difficult for Nathaniel Clyne one one.”

City are playing catch up in the Premier League after two consecutive defeats against Leicester and Tottenham, but a Champions League win over Dynamo Kyiv and Sunday’s cup final success has put a spring back in the Blues’ step.

Reflecting on Leicester’s nine-point lead over City, he said: "If we are nine points behind the leader the range of error is less. If the maths say you can do it, you must always trust you can do it. I am sure our team will continue growing from now until the end of the season.

“When you have experience, it’s easier. When you see what happens over the seasons, you must trust. I remember two years before I arrived, when City won the title with Mancini, weren't we eight points behind United? Anything can happen.”

Pellegrini also had a word of praise for his skipper Vincent Kompany, who consoled Liverpool's players after the penalty shoot-out before celebrating.

"I think when you are captain, you have important things to do as a leader," he said. "I’m very glad of the reaction of Kompany to go over to the Liverpool players.

"We said before the game it’s beautiful to win a final but hard to lose. The difference between winning and losing is so slight."

And finally Pellegrini is not sweating on who to select in goal against Liverpool after Willy Caballero's spot-kick heroics at the weekend - but he wasn't giving anything away.

"It's a very easy decision," he said "We’ll see tomorrow."

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