Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said he has full confidence in Raheem Sterling despite him falling down the pecking order and backed the 26-year-old to use his chances to force his way back into the starting side.

Sterling’s dip in form has meant that Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez have featured more regularly for the Premier League leader this season.

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“Raheem is an extraordinary player. He was, is and will be,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Sunday’s League Cup final with Tottenham Hotspur. “He maybe hasn’t played as regularly as previous seasons. Phil and Riyad are in top form.

“… But the opportunity will come and he has to be ready to show his quality, be fresh in his mind and play the incredible strengths he has. The only way is to let him play.”

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