Sunderland can pose Manchester City no end of problems at the Stadium of Light this evening, however we don't anticipate an upset in this match.
Confidence appears to have returned to Manchester City following their wins against Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Premier League rivals Southampton at the weekend. They look set to continue their winning ways in the North-east tonight, however they will be made to work hard for their points.
Sunderland is a tricky fixture for Manchester City, Pellegrini’s side losing 1-0 in each of their last four visits to the Stadium of Light, August 2008 being the last time that City gained a single point in the North-east.
Indeed, Sunderland have proven themselves to be a bogey team for Manchester City, drawing 3-3 at the Etihad in City’s title winning 2011/12 season, these being the only points dropped at home for the champions during the entire campaign.
As a result, Sunderland will be confident that they can clinch the points this time around, their high spirits increased following their 0-0 stalemate with Chelsea at the weekend, the Black Cats being only the third Premier League side to have achieved that in the top flight this season.
Sunderland undoubtedly lift their game against the bigger opponents and they will relish the prospect of facing City so soon after their excellent goalless draw with runaway league leaders Chelsea.
Nevertheless, this could all be asking too much of the home side. Manchester City recorded a fine 3-0 win over Southampton at the weekend and will be desperate to close the gap even further on league leaders Chelsea. As such, they will be a focused heavily for this encounter and will accept nothing but victory once again.
Sunderland look good to get their names onto the goal sheet, however we feel that the dominance of Manchester City will prevail. This won’t be a fifth consecutive 1-0 win for the home side.
Our betting tips
Manchester City to win 2-1 – Bet365 8/1
Both teams to score – Betway 4/5