Pep Guadiola will unleash Raheem Sterling on Real Madrid on Wednesday night – after hailing the Manchester City star for his “amazing” recovery.
Sterling, who has missed the last three weeks with a hamstring injury, caused controversy in the build-up to the tie by posing for pictures with a Real Madrid shirt.
But Guardiola said England winger Sterling – a £150million summer target for Real – is raring to go and prove his enduring class in the Bernabeu.
“He’s fit, he is a natural condition and his regeneration is amazing,” said Guardiola. “He said to us he could have played against West Ham and Leicester in the game before
“But the doctor said to be careful, a muscular injury is three weeks or one month out, but Raheem wanted to play and that’s a good sign. He’s fit and he’s ready.”
With Sterling back, City will be at full-strength to take on the 13-time European Cup winners, with Guardiola admitting they will luck on their side.
VAR denied City in the quarter-finals against Tottenham last season, while the season before an erroneous offside decision cost them a goal against Liverpool at the same stage the previous year.
“You need to play good, you have to be strong and you need luck, the decisions in the knockout stages,” said Guardiola.
“It’s the quality of the opponents, but you also have to overcome decisions. “Many things have happened in recent years, but it’s football.
“I remember incredible episodes, but we can’t control it. I don’t like to win with the wrong decisions, but the ref, VAR it’s happened. We can’t control it so we have to do what we have to do.”