Man City star Sterling ruled out of West Ham clash with hamstring injury

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Raheem Sterling Manchester City 2019-20
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The England international went off in the 2-0 defeat at Tottenham, and faces a race to be fit for City's trip to Real Madrid in the Champions League

Raheem Sterling is set to miss Manchester City’s Premier League clash with West Ham on Sunday due to a hamstring injury.

The England forward went off late in the second half of City’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham last weekend, and a scan has confirmed damage to his left hamstring.

Sterling was replaced at Spurs by Bernardo Silva, but the Portuguese international could not reduce the deficit as City suffered their sixth league defeat of the season.

Silva may return to the starting eleven, with he and Riyad Mahrez the most natural fits for the wide attacking positions in the continued absence of Leroy Sane.

Sterling has only missed two of City’s 25 games so far in the Premier League, though 8-0 and 6-1 wins over Watford and Aston Villa would suggest Pep Guardiola’s side are capable of getting by without him.

However, with the Champions League looming large on the horizon, Sterling now faces a race against time to be fit for City’s last-16 tie with Real Madrid.

City travel to Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg on February 26, with the return leg at the Etihad Stadium on March 17.

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20

They also have a Manchester derby and the Carabao Cup final to look forward to in a busy few weeks in March, with Sterling’s presence a potential deciding factor in each fixture.

For now, with league leaders Liverpool not playing this weekend due to the staggered winter break, City will be hoping to cut their lead at the top of the table against West Ham.

However, with a City win only reducing the deficit to 19 points, it could prove a hollow prize.

The Hammers are on a five-game winless run in the league, with their New Year’s Day victory over Bournemouth their only league win of 2020 so far.

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They drew 3-3 at home to Brighton last time out, having led 2-0 and 3-1 during the game.

Following the game, both teams will take their turns in the winter break.

City will have a 13-day rest before their visit to Leicester, with David Moyes’ side travelling to Liverpool two days later.