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Pep Guardiola brushes off concerns over Raheem Sterling form

:Headline: Pep Guardiola brushes off concerns over Raheem Sterling form:
England international Raheem Sterling has started just two of Manchester City's last eight games in all competitions.
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Pep Guardiola insists he has no concerns about Raheem Sterling's form.

England international Sterling has started just two of Manchester City's last eight games in all competitions.

The 26-year-old sat out all but the last two minutes of Wednesday's memorable Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund having remained on the bench throughout the first leg of that quarter-final tie last week.

Guardiola (right) retains full confidence in Sterling (left) (Martin Rickett/PA)

Others, notably Phil Foden, have shone in his place but Guardiola claims that does not indicate Sterling has fallen down the pecking order.

The City manager said: "The trust with Raheem is intact. It is the same as when we arrived here.

"He has our confidence and the quality is there. I cannot give the players confidence, they have to have it for themselves, but 'Rash' has a lot of experience.

"What we've done these incredible years, with the amount of titles won and how many records we have broken in the process, Raheem was key and is a key player.

"Everyone says it is impossible but in football anything can happen. We could lose four or five games in a row. In football it can happen.

"It has happened before, which is why you have to stay in the present."

Guardiola has confirmed number two goalkeeper Zack Steffen will play against Chelsea in place of Ederson, as he has done in previous domestic cup ties this season.

He said: "Yes, he'll start. Always I've done it like this. If he doesn't play I'd lose the team and better to lose games than the team."

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14Southampton35117174462-1840
15Burnley35109163347-1439
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35109164058-1839
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton35813143641-537
RFulham35512182547-2227
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom35511193268-3626
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3552281862-4417
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6Real Betis35159114547-254
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8Celta Vigo361311125153-250
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