Chelsea star Raheem Sterling may have dropped a hint that he will be involved in the Blues’ clash against Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night. The match will be the first time the England international has faced off against his former side, having left them for a switch to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Sterling hasn’t quite hit the ground running yet, being played in several positions that he hasn’t usually played through his career. The latest switch for the 27-year-old has been at wing-back, where new boss Graham Potter has looked to get the most out of him on the flanks.
“He’s at a prime age, he’s got all the quality you see every day in training and the desire is there,” Potter said of the forward amid a tough run of form. “He wants to help the team. He’s suffering with the team, just like the rest of us are. We all want to do better and all want to improve our performance, and we want to improve how the team functions.
“That’s where the work is. It’s not about zooming into individuals, I don’t think that’s fair to anybody. I don’t think we have functioned well enough as a team, so the criticism is towards me, towards the collective, towards us all, in terms of can we do better as a team to create more chances, not just for him, but for everybody?”
The side will be hoping they can go one further than last season’s EFL Cup run, where the Blues managed to reach the final but lost to Liverpool on penalties. However, beating Pep Guardiola’s men is the first obstacle on that run, arguably one of the toughest challenges they could face.
The clash will require Sterling to be on form against his side, having dropped a hint of his inclusion in the team on Instagram with a pre-match hype graphic. While these don’t always indicate a player starting the match, it could likely see him involved in some capacity.
For Potter, the match could be somewhat season defining as a cup run can bring them joy that perhaps the league may not this time around.