Chelsea clash crucial - Sterling

Just the second game of the Premier League season, Raheem Sterling talked up the importance of Manchester City's meeting with Chelsea.

Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling said it was "vital" his team's clash against Chelsea on Sunday went their way.

Manuel Pellegrini's men made an impressive start to the Premier League season, dispatching of West Brom 3-0 in their opener.

A big early-season clash against Jose Mourinho's side follows, and is important for a Chelsea team held by Swansea City in their first outing.

Sterling said it was already a crucial encounter for Manchester City, who played out two draws against their fellow title contenders last season.

"I've done alright against them in the past and results-wise, I think it's been pretty even overall so far in the matches I've played in," he told the club's website.

"But I'm hoping this one will go our way and it's vital that it does. We'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.

"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.

"I've set myself targets for goals and assists and I know where I want to be but I don't really want to reveal what they are because I'll put myself under massive pressure - but I've got personal goals that I want to reach this season for City and hopefully I can meet them."

Sterling expects the title race to be tight, with City and Chelsea expected to be joined by the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in challenging.

"It’s going to be a really tough season," he said.

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

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