Monday, June 18, 2018

Prediction: Manchester City vs Sunderland

Verdict: Home win + both teams to score

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

New-look Manchester City take on improving Sunderland, with Pep Guardiola and his men eager to prove they are rightly considered one of the main candidates for the Premier League trophy. Led by former Manchester United boss David Moyes, the Black Cats will be hoping to avoid the relegation tussle this season, but they are not exactly relishing the trip to Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City

Manchester City bosses have given the team the best possible chance of challenging for the Premier League trophy by luring Pep Guardiola to Etihad Stadium, while they also managed to seriously reinforce the playing squad. In came Nolito, Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones, Leroy Sane, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Marlos Moreno, although the Colombian was immediately loaned to Deportivo La Coruna. The team did not enjoy a perfect pre-season considering that a number of key men missed plenty of training sessions after taking part at the Euro 2016, so don’t expect the Citizens to hit the ground running early on. Kevin De Bruyne and Bacary Sagna are among those who have yet to reach desired fitness levels, while the team also face problems at the back, despite recruiting John Stones from Everton. Nevertheless, in spite of the circumstances, Man City look too strong for David Moyes’ Sunderland at the moment, with forwards Sterling, Aguero and Nolito likely to prove a handful for Black Cats defenders. Having hammered the same opposition 4-1 on Boxing Day last season, we expect them to record another comfortable triumph.

Team News

Captain Vincent Kompany continues to miss out through injury, but Nicolas Otamendi should recover in time to face Sunderland.

Bacary Sagna and Kevin De Bruyne are unlikely to start as they lack match fitness, while John Stones should go straight into the starting line-up.


After Sam Allardyce was rewarded with the England job for keeping Sunderland in the Premier League, it is now David Moyes’ turn to show what he is capable of and try to improve his deteriorating reputation. Italian forward Fabio Borini has moved to praise the Scott’s training methods and chances are the Black Cats will adopt a more positive style of play under Moyes, but we have yet to see how that will affect the results. Sunderland have so far only recruited Papy Djilobodji from Chelsea, but Paddy McNair, Donald Love and Adnan Januzaj should all arrive from Manchester United in the coming days. The biggest problem at the moment is the fact that key defender Lamine Kone is eager to move to Everton and he has already threatened to leave unless he is offered a new and improved deal. Last season’s top scorer Jermaine Defoe has missed a large chunk of pre-season through a thigh problem, and while he has now returned to training, he is likely to lack both match fitness and sharpness if he does start against Manchester City.

Team News

Jan Kirchhoff, Sebastian Larsson and Billy Jones are all rated doubtful for the clash at Etihad Stadium, while David Moyes has yet to make a decision on Lamine Kone.

Jermaine Defoe has resumed training from a thigh strain, but he may not start after missing last four pre-season fixtures.

Key Factors to Consider

  • 4+ goals were scored in each of teams’ last four meetings at Etihad
  • Man City won 12 of last 14 home games vs Sunderland (D2)
  • Both teams scored in six of their last seven meetings
  • Sunderland are unbeaten in last five EPL games on the road (W1 D4)
  • The Black Cats scored in 13 of last 14 away matches in EPL


Manchester City have yet to hit the ground running and while they can be trusted to see off Sunderland, the new-look back line may struggle to avoid conceding. The Black Cats have scored in 13 of last 14 away fixtures in the Premier League and we expect the impressive run to continue, especially with Jermaine Defoe back to the side.

Verdict: Home win + both teams to score

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: William Hill





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