Manchester City will hope to keep their recent run of form good form going when they travel to the North East to play Sunderland, as the latest odds suggest a straight forward win for the Citizens.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are currently fifth in the table, 6 points behind leaders Arsenal after a run of three wins in their last four game and they will be full of confidence after scoring an incredible 12 goals in their last two games.
Despite their impressive recent form the club have struggled on the road with only one win in 5 games, a 3-1 win over West Ham.
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The club has already lost three games away and that form, coupled with the fact that City have lost on their last three visits to the Stadium of Light have given Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson belief his side can get a result against the big spenders.
The Black Cats have a good record at home against City and the Swedish midfielder is tipping his side to keep their strong recent record intact.
“We have beaten them three times in a row, but what a team they are and what a fantastic game to play in,” Larsson told the Daily Express.
“At home, in front of a big crowd backing us, we have shown we can do it as we have beaten them before in previous seasons.
“We know we have the confidence of beating them before, but if we are being honest we will have to play the perfect game to beat them again. Why not do that on Sunday?
“It will need all of us, from one to 11 to be at our very best to get a result, but we can do it as we have shown in the past.
“It’s all about breeding confidence and we have won two out of our last three now which sounds a hell of a lot better than it has done for a while.
“That’s the way you need to look at it and gain confidence because confidence is such a massive thing in football.
“It can disappear very quickly and gain it maybe not as quickly, but I think we are gradually beginning to build up a little bit of confidence and a win in the cup will not do us any harm at all.”
The club will be boosted by the return of Irish International Kieren Westwood after he missed the midweek win over Southampton with concussion. Wes Brown is also tipped to return after he played in the midweek Capital Cup win while Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena miss out through suspension.
City meanwhile will once again be without Vincent Kompany as he continues to struggle with a groin strain while Stevn Jovetic and David Silva both miss out with calf injuries.
Midfielder Fernandinho and defender Matija Nastasic suffered knocks in the Champions league win over CSKA Moscow and will be assessed before the game as too will Javi Garcia.
Despite being assured of his status as England’s number one Joe Hart will once again be on the bench for City.