Sterling debut against Roma

Sterling became the most expensive English player in history – overtaking Andy Carroll – when he moved from Liverpool to City in a deal worth ??49m.

And he will put on the sky blue shirt for the first time in the International Champions Cup match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Pellegrini said it was important for his marquee signing, whom he rates as “one of the best attacking players in world football”, to get some playing time for his new club ahead of the new Premier League season next month.

“I think that Raheem worked with Liverpool for three days in the same way as the other international players, so he will play some minutes,” Pellegrini said.

“I know him because he played against us for the last two seasons but I think that it is important for him to try to have some minutes with our team as soon as he can.

“I know the way he has played at Liverpool. It’s different, of course, when he’s working with our squad, but he’s a very young player with a lot of ambition and for me that’s very important.”

Pellegrini is also expected to give some game time to the club’s other new signings, midfielder Fabian Delph, Turkish striker Enes Unal and former England youth international Patrick Roberts either on Tuesday or against Real Madrid on Friday.

Manchester City warmed up for the ICC tournament with a 1-0 win over Australian sister club Melbourne City with Frenchman Samir Nasri getting a late winner on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Roma beat Real Madrid 7-6 on penalties after the opening ICC game finished goalless at the MCG on Saturday.

Pellegrini, echoed the concerns of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez about the state of the MCG pitch which has been heavily used by the Australian Football League for their club matches this season.

“Yes, I am concerned… we know it is not in the best shape,” he said. “I hope that the pitch will be at least in normal conditions.”