Manchester City - Sunderland Preview: Two of the last remaining unbeaten teams clash at the Etihad
The Premier League champions snatched a point after being 3-1 down late on in this fixture last season as the Black Cats came close to doing the double over Mancini's men
By Husmukh Kerai
Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Silva, Tevez, Nasri
Larsson, Bramble, O'Shea, Rose
Johnson, Gardner, Colback, McClean
Roberto Mancini is likely to be without midfielder Javi Garcia (hamstring) after he suffered the injury in the midweek game against Borussia Dortmund.
Jack Rodwell returned in that match and came through unscathed, while Maicon (heel) is set to return.
Lee Cattermole remains suspended for Martin O'Neill's side. Apart from that, Sunderland have no new injury concerns.
Defenders Phil Bardsley, Carlos Cuellar and West Brown have all resumed training this week but are not fit enough for first-team action yet.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City are still looking for their first consecutive wins in the league this season.
- City are the first Premier League champions to have conceded in each of their first six league games.
- Former City player Adam Johnson has scored twice in this fixture against his current side, once at the Etihad in a 5-0 win and once at the Stadium of Light.
- Sunderland were the only team not to lose at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League last season.
- The Black Cats' win over Wigan ended a run of 12 games without a victory, Martin O'Neill's worst run as a manager in the Premier League
- Sunderland are the only team in the Premier League that have not gone a goal behind in any of their matches this season.
- Steven Fletcher (pictured right) has scored five goals from just five shots on target in the Premier League this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City 3-0 Sunderland
- 12.86 %
Manchester City 3-1 Sunderland
- 11.65 %
Manchester City 2-0 Sunderland
- 11.56 %
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2012||Sunderland 1 - Manchester City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||6 Oct 2012||Manchester City 3 - Sunderland 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||31 Mar 2012||Manchester City 3 - Sunderland 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Jan 2012||Sunderland 1 - Manchester City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Apr 2011||Manchester City 5 - Sunderland 0|
|19 May 2013||Manchester City 2 - Norwich City 3||EPL|
|14 May 2013||Reading 0 - Manchester City 2||EPL|
|11 May 2013||Manchester City 0 - Wigan Athletic 1||FA|
|7 May 2013||Manchester City 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0||EPL|
|4 May 2013||Swansea City 0 - Manchester City 0||EPL|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
Arguably the most consistent of Man City's quartet of strikers, the Argentine is Mancini's most decisive forward. He returned from injury to score the equaliser against Fulham last weekend and his mobility should cause the upright frames of Bramble and O'Shea all sorts of problems at the heart of O'Neill's defence.
With five goals in five shots Fletcher is a striker bang in form. He is the first player since Daniel Sturridge to score in all four of his opening games for a Premier League club. If Sunderland are to score, then the recently recalled Scottish international is a sure fire bet to be involved.
Sunderland proved to be Manchester City's bogey team last season, with the Black Cats unlucky not to take all six points from their two games. Expect City to end that hoodoo on Saturday. Mancini will have been disappointed with his side's weak showing against Dortmund midweek and will want a reaction in front of the home support.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed