The England winger has not yet managed to hit the heights of previous seasons, although he has still scored nine goals and created five assists in the Premier League.
And there were eyebrows raised when he was not even named as a substitute for the weekend’s win at Craven Cottage.
Speaking at full-time, Guardiola confirmed Sterling is not suffering an injury, and thus was definitely dropped for tactical reasons.
And when asked if the England international would return for City’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday, he replied by suggesting competition for places is only going to get more competitive.
“On Sunday we will train and we will see,” Guardiola said. “Everybody wants to be involved from the beginning. Now it’s perfect as we rotate six or seven players from the beginning every game. Everyone is fit.
“When it’s working well it’s all ‘how brilliant we are in our decisions’. The route we are going to take is not to complain or say why we rotate or why the players didn’t play.
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“To win the Premier League and all the titles we need everyone, everyone, everyone. We do the best for the club and the best for the team. When that happens, we can compete in all competitions for the year.”
Sterling was forced to take to social media to rubbish suggestions by some that the reason for his recent lack of action is because he and Guardiola have had a big falling out.
He tweeted: “Some crazy rumours on socials today… That’s absolutely FALSE. Looking forward to a big week with the team. Have a good night lads.”