(Reuters) - Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has predicted the Premier League title race to be a very closely fought affair this season with most contenders having strengthened their squads.
City’s 49 million pound ($76 million) man, who left Liverpool during the summer to become the most expensive English player of all time, made his debut on Monday in his side’s comfortable 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
“It’s going to be a really tough season,” the 20-year-old told the club’s website. “Everyone has strengthened their squads and the Premier League is always hard to second guess.”
Sterling is set to make his home debut on Sunday against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea against whom City drew both their games last season.
“Chelsea are very strong in every department from their defence and midfield to their attack, but it should be a good game and I‘m really looking forward to playing in this match,” the England international said.
”I’ve done alright against them in the past and results-wise, I think it’s been pretty even overall so far in the matches I’ve played in.
“But I‘m hoping this one will go our way and it’s vital that it does. We’re on our own ground and with it being our first home game of the season, we want to get off on the right foot.”
Sterling was coy about his targets for the season as he wants to stay away from any added pressure.
“I’ve set myself targets for goals and assists and I know where I want to be but I don’t really want to reveal what they are because I’ll put myself under massive pressure,” he said.
“But I’ve got personal goals that I want to reach this season for City and hopefully I can meet them.”
Reporting by Shravanth V in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly