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Guardiola justifies picking Sterling in Man City starting XI for CL final

Raheem Sterling - Man City
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The England international was allowed to start in the Sky Blues’ most important game of the season despite his struggles.

Pep Guardiola justifies starting Raheem Sterling in the Champions League final saying Manchester City need “specific players” due to Chelsea’s defensive approach.

Sterling’s name in the starting XI came as a surprise considering he has suffered a slip in standards this season, having shown a lack of sharpness in front of goal.

The winger recorded a career-best tally of 31 goals across all competitions in 2019/20 but has managed just 14 goals in total so far this term.

Guardiola left the 26-year-old on the bench in all four of the Man City’s quarter-final and semi-final ties but started him alongside Riyad Mahrez up top in the final showdown.

“They play a system five at the back, we need specific players and in that area and we decide for Raheem,” Guardiola told BT Sport, explaining his decision.

“If we want a chance to win, we have to attack. Of course, you have to defend but our way is to attack.

“We need everyone. The second-half, I’m sure, will be pretty different to the beginning.”