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Sunderland vs. Manchester City, 2017 Premier League: Players to Watch

A rematch from the first game of the season!

Sunderland v Watford - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

To start the Premier League season, Manchester City played a home match against Sunderland, and Pep Guardiola came away with his first win in England, thanks to an 87th minute own goal by Paddy McNair.

Sunderland will seek revenge at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, and they need a win to move out of the bottom of the Premier League table. City are on a good streak of form in the league, and they could push within eight points of 1st place Chelsea.

In a vital match for both sides, this game could be more competitive than most think. Here’s a look at a few players who could impact the match.

Jordan Pickford

After suffering a knee injury in December, Sunderland’s star goalkeeper is back in uniform. He started in four of Sunderland’s five wins this season, and he's made 79 saves for the Black Cats in this campaign.

In his return from injury he made six saves last week against Everton. Sunderland will need him to perform every week if they want to stay above the relegation zone.

Leroy Sané

While he struggled to adapt in England during the beginning of the season, Leroy Sané has become a mainstay in City's starting XI and has 5 goals and 3 assists. All five of his goals have come in his last nine starts, including two goals and an assist in his last two apperances.

The former Schalke 04 man has paired up well with Raheem Sterling on the wings, and Pep Guardiola manages to use the German's talent all across the pitch. Look for Sané to continue his stretch of strong form against Sunderland’s weak full-backs.

Jermain Defoe

Defoe has been Sunderland’s saving grace over the last few seasons, and he manages to keep a great goal-scoring record year after year. He's now 34 years old, and has already managed 14 goals and two assists this season.

Defoe scored Sunderland’s lone goal against City in their match earlier this season. Look for him to score again if Sunderland come out on top.

Sergio Agüero

After regaining his confidence in his few games back in the squad, Sergio Agüero is once again among the Premier League’s most dangerous strikers. Although he has "just" eleven league goals this season, his recent form is enough for every club across Europe to be aware of.

He has scored four times and assisted twice over the last two matches, and it will be no surprise if he continues his run against a weak Sunderland defense. City will rely on a big performance from their star man.