By 90Min
August 17, 2019

Pep Guardiola has backed Raheem Sterling to score at least 30 goals this season, after praising his clinical finishing in front of goal.

The 24-year-old has matured into one of Europe's finest wingers under the tutelage of Guardiola's management, and has greatly improved his return in front of goal - scoring over 20 goals in all competitions during the past two seasons.

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After netting an opening day hat-trick in City's comprehensive 5-0 win against West Ham, Sterling has taken an early lead in the race for this season's golden boot - and Guardiola sees no reason why he can't target reaching 30 goals this season, having nabbed 25 during the 2018/19 campaign.

Speaking prior to City's game with Tottenham, as quoted by the Mirror, the Spaniard said: "Yeah, hopefully. It will be good for him and for the team.

"When he's in front of the goal, he puts it in the net. So, he can do it, yeah. He scored 25 last season, and 25 to 30 is only five goals. So he can do it. But I don't know. I never spoke with Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus, or Raheem, with any of the people up front, about what are their dreams and targets, so I don't know, honestly.

"I think they're happy when they are scoring goals, like all the people who play in the front line. So, hopefully, he can score goals. I think goals are a consequence of the way we play - their mood, how the team's playing, no injuries. I wouldn't judge him if he scored 30 goals, 35 or 20.


"When he scores goals, I'm happy. But if he does what he has to do for him and the team, then it's enough." 

Sterling is expected to play a prominent role as City look to defend their Premier League title for a third season in a row, and will look to help fire his side to victory over Tottenham in their first home league game of the season.

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