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Preview: City v Sunderland

Tony Marshall

Despite everything seemingly going wrong over the last two matches, we find ourselves only two points out of first place. If we can get through this tough stretch relatively unscathed, the title should still be up for grabs.

Injury report - Samir Nasri, Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero, Javi Garcia, and Matija Nastasic will all miss the match against Sunderland, but all are making progress. Nasri, Nastasic, and Garcia will be available for Saturday, and definitely for the Barcelona match. Aguero and Fernandinho are looking like they won't be ready for the Barcelona match, but both will want to play a part, so who knows at this point.

Possible lineup - Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Rodwell, Yaya, Silva, Navas, Jovetic, Dzeko.

Sunderland have been on a good run of form, having won 6 of their last 8 in all competitions. The loss at the weekend was unfortunate, since Wes Brown got himself sent off after only 4 minutes. Adam Johnson has been on fire lately, with 6 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 league matches. He always plays with a chip on his shoulder against us, and will want to run at Kolarov. Look for the midfielders to spend a lot of time tracking back on him, making sure to close him down.

The Black Cats have long been a bogey team for us, with only 1 win recently. We have famously lost the last three away matches at the Stadium of Light 1-0, and have tied against them at home. The lone win was the home fixture last season. With all of the injuries that we are dealing with right now, I expect this to be a tough match, but that we will eventually break down the defense enough for a win.

Prediction - City 2 - 1 Sunderland.