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Manchester City v Manchester United

'I'll be taking more shots than usual' - Sterling determined to open scoring account against Man Utd

10:02 AM GMT 07/12/2019
Raheem Sterling Manchester City 2019-20
The England international will be taking "scoring seriously" when City play host to their arch-rivals in the Premier League this weekend

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling is determined to register his first-ever goal against Manchester United on Sunday, insisting he will be "taking more shots than usual".

The two Premier League heavyweights will meet for the first time this season at Etihad Stadium, with 11 points currently separating them in the table after 15 fixtures.

City are in desperate need of a victory to stay within sight of runaway leaders Liverpool, while United will be looking to leapfrog Wolves into fifth and start chasing down Chelsea in the final Champions League spot.

Sterling will likely be one of the first names on the team-sheet for the hosts, with eight goals to his name from 14 outings this term.

The 24-year-old is arguably City's most potent attacking threat in the absence of Sergio Aguero, who will be forced to miss the derby through injury.

Sterling has, however, historically struggled to make an impact against United, failing to score a single goal in 16 matches - a run which stretches back to his time at Liverpool.

The England winger is hoping to buck that trend this weekend, but won't be putting any undue pressure on himself as City aim to pick up a vital three points.

When asked if he is bothered by his dismal record against United, Sterling told Sky Sports: "No and yes. Firstly, no, because I didn't take scoring seriously, but yes because now I do.

"To see that stat that I haven't scored in 16 games against them, it's a wake-up call.

"I won't put pressure on myself and will play my game looking with an eye to score.

"I'll be taking a lot more shots than I usually do.”

Sterling was not known as a prolific goalscorer when he was on Liverpool's books, or indeed in the early stages of his career at Etihad Stadium, with questions asked over his composure in the final third of the pitch.

Under the stewardship of Guardiola, however, he has added a clinical edge to his game, emerging as one of the finest all-round players in England.

“When I first came onto the scene I wanted to show I had ability and that I was a good player,” he added. “But I was never trying to be greedy in trying to win matches by myself.

“It was a wake-up call hearing all the critics saying he can't score goals, so I thought I'd show them that I can. It's something I started to work on and have belief.”

After facing off against United, City will turn their attention to a Champions League group stage fixture away at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday, with their place in the last 16 already assured.