The Black Cats have had the upper hand in recent encounters against Manuel Pellegrini's team - expect them to flourish in their role as underdogs at WembleyThe first silverware of the season is up for grabs on Sunday, as Sunderland take on Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
Gus Poyet claimed his players would be the "happiest people in England" if they pulled off a shock win, with William Hill offering odds of 9/1 (10.00) on them lifting the trophy for the first time in their history.
However, Manuel Pellegrini’s men are heavy 2/7 (1.29) favourites to remain on course for a potential domestic treble by coming out on top in the capital.
Six of the last 13 finals have remained tied after 90 minutes, and you can get odds of 9/2 (5.50) on this one also requiring extra-time to separate the teams.
While the odds may be stacked in their favour, Pellegrini’s team know better than most that things do not always go according to plan in one-off fixtures, having succumbed to a shock FA Cup final defeat against soon-to-be relegated Wigan only last season.
That memory may not be the only inkling of doubt preying on their mind either, as they take on a side that have become something of a bogey team for them in recent seasons.
November’s surprise 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light was the Black Cats’ fourth in the last seven meetings between the sides, while they have only lost twice in the last eight.
With this in mind, Poyet’s men may relish their role as underdogs on Sunday, particularly given that they go into the game with only four defeats to their name in the last 17 fixtures.
With the pressure all on their opponents, odds of 17/20 (1.85) seem like decent value on Sunderland to come out on top with the benefit of a two-goal handicap, in a bet that would have paid out in eight of their last 10 encounters with Manchester City.
With seven goals in his last nine games, Adam Johnson represents his team’s biggest threat and is well worth backing at 11/2 (6.50) to strike against his former club for the second time since leaving the Etihad in 2012.
|Sunderland (+2) to win for a 2pt stake at 17/20 (1.85) with William Hill
||Adam Johnson to score anytime for a 1pt stake at 11/2 (6.50) with William Hill
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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.