Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling will be fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 first leg at the Bernabeu on Wednesday after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Sterling has been out of action since the start of February as a result of an injury suffered in the defeat against Tottenham prior to City’s winter break, and has missed the club’s last two games against West Ham and Leicester.

Raheem Sterling

Speaking in the wake of the Leicester game at the weekend, manager Pep Guardiola described Sterling as ‘much, much, much better’ and added, ‘I think he’ll be ready [for Real]’.

Sterling, who has struggled for goals since the turn of the calendar year despite netting 20 times in the first half of the season, was benched when former club Liverpool played against Real at the Bernabeu in 2014 when manager Brendan Rodgers unexpectedly named a weakened side.

Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho also started that game on the bench, although all three players got on the pitch in the second half with Real only winning 1-0.

Sterling was asked about the possibility of joining Real in the near future when he spoke to Spanish publication AS earlier this month, in the wake of the UEFA ban issued to City.

The 25-year-old, who will be close to his 28th birthday by the time the ban expires (if upheld after City's appeal) stressed his current commitment to City and the need to respect his contract, but was also full of praise for Los Blancos and coach Zinedine Zidane.

“I’m really happy [at City]. But I say Real Madrid are a fantastic club – when you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s massive,” he told ASAt the same time, I have a contract with City now and I have to respect this. But it’s a fantastic club."

“I don’t think that’s luck, it’s definitely a formula. Some people have that winning mentality and he wins by any means,” he said of Zidane.

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