Thursday, November 23, 2017

Premier League preview: Manchester City v Sunderland

The last time Sunderland beat Manchester City, the Blues were relegated later that year.

The Black Cats’ most recent triumph over City at Eastlands was in the second tier of English football in 1998, meaning Steve Bruce’s side face a hard task if they are to knock over the now talent-laden side that is Manchester City when the two sides clash in the English Premier League on Sunday.

Sunderland are still in contention for a European spot, which says more for their earlier season form than it does for their last five games – as they have taken just one point from a possible 15 – yet are only two points behind the coveted seventh place (Bolton) which guarantees European football next season.

Bruce’s side is last on the Premier League’s ‘form guide’ table, but will take some solace from their late draw against City at the Stadium of Light in the reverse fixture in August.

City are pushing to sew up their spot in the league’s top four to earn their ticket to the Champions League next campaign.

With a fresh and revitalised Carlos Tevez a likely starter after a two-week hiatus from the field due to injury and the international break, City could romp to a commanding victory at home.

The City skipper has not scored in the Premier League since his hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion in early February, but is just two goals behind Golden Boot leader Dimitar Berbatov, and expect the Argentine to be keen to arrest that deficit sooner rather than later.

Sunderland memorably scored three at Eastlands last season but took no points in a 4-3 loss, but it is hard seeing them repeat their scoring heroics, despite the exciting pairing of Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan up front.

City will be without injured goalkeeper Shay Given and suspended Kolo Toure, while Sunderland are missing Craig Gordon, David Meyler and Michael Turner, but John Mensah will be available after the red card he received against Liverpool was rescinded.

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