Manchester City v Sunderland Sat 15:00
After succumbing to a last minute winner courtesy of Ji Dong-Won in the reverse fixture, Manchester City will be keen to set the record straight against Sunderland when the pair meet on Saturday, as Bet365 offer short odds for victory for Roberto Mancini’s side who could welcome back Carlos Tevez to the starting line up at the Etihad.
The one factor that may prove a huge difference on this occasion is that Sunderland are in a near opposite vein of form than they were in January, and it appears that good fortune alone will not get the visitors a result at the Etihad Stadium.
Martin O’Neill’s side currently have the seventh worst form in the Premier League, winning just two of their last six fixtures and losing three.
The Black Cats’ FA Cup run came to an abrupt end on Tuesday when they were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Everton at the Stadium of Light.
Two names O’Neill will be pleased to put on his teamsheet once again is Kieran Richardson and Keiren Westwood who will both undergo late fitness tests before the trip to Manchester.
As far as the league is concerned, City are enjoying an altogether more successful run of form in the English top flight and have won four of their last six outings.
That being said, the Citizens dropped even further off the pace of Manchester United last weekend when they were only able to snatch a point at the Brittania Stadium.
Roberto Mancini’s team may still have a superior goal difference than league leaders Manchester United, but goals alone won’t bring the title to the Etihad.
The Citizens are the most dangerous team in the English top flight when playing at home, scoring an average of almost three goals per game this season.
With Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany both in contention to return from injury, penetrating the City defence will also be as difficult a task as ever, especially considering the side have conceded an impressive average of just 0.73 goals per game at home this campaign.
City will have to be on their toes to remain within touching distance of Manchester United, who are entering an easier patch of fixtures, and Sunderland will be the first obstacle in that bid.