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Sterling's fitness boost ahead of Arsenal clash

Sterling's fitness boost ahead of Arsenal clash
Raheem Sterling is confident he has recovered from the hamstring issue that forced him to withdraw from England duty earlier this month and says he should be fit for Saturday’s return to Premier League action against Arsenal.

The City winger withdrew from the national squad ahead of their October internationals earlier this month as a precaution after reporting a slight issue with his hamstring.

Reflecting on the fitness issue, Sterling to the pointed intense schedule caused by the late extended finish to the 2019/20 season and quick start into the 2020/21 campaign with virtually no break and little pre-season preparation.

But having resumed training at the CFA, the 25-year-old added that he was feeling good to go again.

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“Coming back from Portugal then starting with the national team before the season started with the Premier League, not having a great pre-season... I think we probably had three or four days, probably a week, maximum a week and I was straight back into it,” Sterling recalled.

“I wasn't in the best of conditions and I had a little niggle with my hamstring and I'm getting back to full fitness.

“I should be OK and I feel fine to play against Arsenal.”

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The clash against Mike Arteta’s Gunners offers City the chance to get back to winning ways in the league after a loss at home to Leicester was followed by a 1-1 draw at Leeds last time out.

With Pep Guardiola’s side having played a game less than the majority of our rivals, it means we are currently in mid-table in the early standings.

However, Sterling believes Saturday’s tea-time encounter offers the perfect platform for City to ‘kick-start’ our season.

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“I think the most important thing is that we know the start we have had,” Sterling added.

“The game against Arsenal is a great game to kick start the season and get a good result.

“Nothing changes, this is football, you've seen the results already from the opening games in the Premier League.

“We know it's going to be a long season, without the fans, but it's one that we are relishing the challenge.”

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