Raheem Sterling is fearful that one of the many heavy tackles that him and his Manchester City teammates have had to endure over recent weeks could ruin someone's World Cup dream.

Leroy Sane was ruled out for six weeks after a horror tackle by Cardiff's Joe Bennett in the FA Cup while thankfully Kevin De Bruyne and Brahim Diaz were left unscarred despite West Brom's best attempts in the midweek Premier League fixture.

Speaking to The Mirror, Sterling said: "I think the referees and officials need to cut these tackles out because as you can see, some of the players are getting butchered out there and it’s sad to see. I find it a bit unfair at times. I feel that we haven’t been protected enough in certain situations.

"I think some of the challenges have been awful. It’s not what I expect to see in a top-flight football match — especially when teams are losing and just go out to kick players. I don’t think that’s right. I do think we need to cut down on that because we’ve got a World Cup at the end of the season and majority of the players in the top flight, and in our team, will be playing in it.

"It would be sad to see someone miss the tournament due to a silly tackle and someone getting away with it. These tackles can happen, but it can’t be every game where we’re getting two players coming in with injuries."

Sterling is not the first Citizen to speak out against the physicality they are having to deal with in retaliation to their brilliance, with Bernardo Silva echoing the calls of his manager for more protection from referees.

Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor this afternoon but luckily no injuries were sustained during the 90 minutes.