Preview: City v Sunderland

Alex Livesey

Can City shake the losing streak at the Stadium of Light?

So here's where we're at lately.

We win 4-1 against United and 5-0 against Wigan.

We lose 3-2 at Aston Villa, and get stomped 3-1 by Bayern.

We win 3-1 against Everton and West Ham, and win 2-1 in the Champion's League.

We lose 2-1 away at Chelsea.

We thrash Norwich 7-0 at home and win 5-2 in the Champions League.

That's about as Jekyll and Hyde as a team gets. Most of it is explained by the difference between our home and away form. We've scored 20 goals at home, and only allowed 2 (in the Premier League). We've scored 8 goals away, and allowed 9.

To put that into perspective, we've scored more goals at home, than every other team in the Premier League has in total (home and away), except for Arsenal.

As if that wasn't enough, we've lost away to Sunderland 1-0 each of the last three seasons. We'll also be without David Silva, who has been absolutely on fire lately.

Injuries/Suspensions

Sunderland will be without Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena, who are out for another 2 matches due to red cards.

City are missing Vincent Kompany, David Silva, and Stevan Jovetic. Also doubtful are Fernandinho and Matija Nastasic. I expect that Ferna will sit in favor of Rodwell/Garcia, while Nastasic will start alongside Demichelis.

Starting XI

Pantimilion, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy, Rodwell, Yaya, Nasri, Jesus Navas, Aguero and Negredo.

Prediction

Defense - The partnership of Nastasic and Demichelis has been better, but still not great. When Vinnie comes back, it could be Nastasic on the outside looking in. Gael Clichy has been looking a little shaky lately, not helping himself by giving away a penalty against CSKA Moscow. I think he still has the left back spot locked down though. Zabaleta is a lock on the right, and will only sit when fixtures get tight.

Midfield - I hope to see Fernandinho, as he and Yaya have combined really well this season. Replacing him with either Javi Garcia or Jack Rodwell will lead to an inevitable drop off. Nasri has played really well on the right flank, but he'll most likely move to the left (where he prefers to be), to replace Silva. Navas should get a run out on the right side.

Attack - Aguero and Negredo are deadly. They are about as hot as a strike partnership gets. Nuff said.

4-1. City will shake off the away demons, and Aguero and Negredo will keep dominating.

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