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Sterling: Only City can keep City from UCL title

Raheem Sterling has said that only Manchester City can stop themselves from winning the Champions League final, despite suffering two defeats against opponents Chelsea in the past two months.

Pep Guardiola’s team go into the club’s first Champions League final as strong favourites to win having already secured the Premier League and Carabao Cup this season.

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Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory against City at Wembley in April ended the Etihad side’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple this season. Thomas Tuchel’s team also delayed City’s clinching of the Premier League title earlier this month with a 2-1 away win against Guardiola’s side.

But although Chelsea’s recent record against City highlights their ability to win Saturday’s final, and take the European Cup to Stamford Bridge for a second time, England forward Sterling says that City have nothing to fear but themselves.

“It is now about focusing on winning that trophy,” Sterling said. “The only thing that can stop us are ourselves, if I am honest.

“We have played them twice [under Tuchel] and lost twice — but this is a Champions League final.

“On the day, things are a lot different. You go into it with a clean mindset. Those games that happened against them in recent times go out the window.

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Nedum Onuoha doesn’t think Chelsea’s win over Manchester City in the Premier League will be of consequence for either side in the UCL final.

“It is a game where I expect a difficult test, but at the same time I expect us to pull through.

“I expect a physically demanding game. Chelsea is a strong a team who have a lot of physically strong players.”

Since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan’s takeover in 2008, City have targeted Champions League glory as the ultimate return on their owner’s investment, which has seen the club spend over £1.7 billion on players over the past 13 years.

And Sterling admits that every player at City is aware of the determination of the owners to see the team crowned as European champions.

“It is a club that, since I have come here, the way they want us to go is to win the Premier League and Champions League,” Sterling said.

“It is a massive achievement to get there, but I know that the club won’t just be happy to get there. Hopefully we can do it, we can win at the weekend and make history at this club.

“I think the camp is pretty relaxed. Being in finals before with this football club, that only gives you that experience of going into a final.

“Of course, it is the Champions League final, but at the same time we are footballers and we have to not let the occasion get to us and play our football.”

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