Manchester City’s new A?49 million signing Raheem Sterling reckons that the current season will be a tough one, and insisted that the title race will be closer than it has been in recent times.

After a protracted transfer saga, Sterling signed for the Etihad club from Liverpool FC in the middle of July. The 20-year-old made his competitive debut for the Citizens in the 3-0 win over West Brom on Monday. The English international also talked about the strengths of City’s rivals ahead of this weekends clash against holders Chelsea FC.

a Ita s going to be a really tough season” – Sterling

Speaking in an interview, as quoted by the club’s official website, Sterling said:

a Ita s going to be a really tough season.

a Everyone has strengthened their squads and the Premier League is always hard to second guess.

a Chelsea are very strong in every department from their defence and midfield to their attack, but it should be a good game and Ia m really looking forward to playing in this match.a

I will aim to create and score as many goals as I can

.

Manchester City and Chelsea FC drew both of their games last season as Chelsea FC comfortably won the Premier League title. The 20-year-old promised to give his all in the clash between the two title-contenders. If Sterling plays a part in the game against the Blues, it will mark his home debut for his new side. The forward also wants to push himself to achieve his personal targets of goals and assists for the ongoing season.

a Ia ve done alright against them in the past and results-wise, I think ita s been pretty even overall so far in the matches Ia ve played in,a he said.

a But Ia m hoping this one will go our way and ita s vital that it does. Wea re on our own ground and with it being our first home game of the season, we want to get off on the right foot.

a The only promise I will make is that I will try my best at all times – I will aim to create and score as many goals as I can for the team and work really hard every week.

a Ia ve set myself targets for goals and assists and I know where I want to be but I dona t really want to reveal what they are because Ia ll put myself under massive pressure – but Ia ve got personal goals that I want to reach this season for City and hopefully I can meet them.a

The reigning champions travel to the Etihad to take on last season’s runners up on Sunday. Sterling is expected to inject pace and directness in a City attack also boasting of star players including David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure.