Manchester City travel to the Stadium of Light on the back of two very high scoring and very good results in both the League and Champions League. However the trip to Sunderland should come with a ‘viewer discretion required’ warning label.
Manchester City have played Sunderland away in the League 62 times with the hosts winning the vast majority of them (34). Of the 28 remaining games Manchester City have only won 17 with the last win coming on the last day of August 2008.
The first game between these two took place at Hyde Road back in December 1899and City won 2-1. The reverse fixture with the Black Cats followed four months later and that resulted in a Sunderland win. This fixture was played almost exactly 100 years ago, October 18th 1913 and the result was a goalless draw. In 1934 the exact fixture took place in a five goal thriller again going the way of Sunday’s hosts.
Add to that the fact that Manchester City will be missing David Silva for a month, starting with this game and Fernandinho and Nastasic facing late fitness tests. Of all the injury concerns I think the Nastasic has to be the one to worry most City fans. Vinny Kompany is still out and the center back pairing is up in the air again, this will frustrate Pellegrini who has yet to have more than two fit center backs at any one time.
Will Adam Johnson get to play his old club once more? Gus Poyet is on the back of a League Cup win against Southampton but of course failed to capitalize on the win against Newcastle a few weeks back. Will the same happen this Sunday against Manchester City? First they will have to find a way to keep Negredo and Aguero quiet. If they can neutralize the threat from City or disrupt the rhythm City can get into then they have a chance which, despite City’s injury’s concerns, will still be a tough ask.
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