Sunday, 1 April 2012

City vs Sunderland: Match Preview

By Tom Smart

Manchester City go in today’s home clash with Sunderland knowing they can extend their own record to 21 consecutive home wins in the Premier League and more importantly regain top-spot, albeit temporarily.

If the blues are to remain in the title race, then this afternoons clash with the Black Cats is a must-win.

City go in to the game on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw away at Stoke City in last Saturday’s late kick-off. A superb volleyed effort by Peter Crouch being the instigator that saw the team from Manchester drop points.

Sunderland head into the game with only 1 away win in their last 5 away league games and with City’s home record in the type of form it is, this could be likely to increase.

City look to be without Sergio Aguero whose rumoured foot injury is to be the result of a ‘stupid’ incident according to manager Roberto Mancini. A huge loss for the attacking dimension of the side but a chance nevertheless for misfiring strikers Balotelli, Dzeko or the return of one Carlos Tevez.

City welcome back the return of captain Vincent Kompany, whose absence in the defence has been evident in recent games particularly away from home. However, Joleon Lescott is still expected to miss the game with a groin strain that is currently keeping him out of action with Kolo Toure expecting to take his place at centre back.

Sunderland will be without O’Shea who is expeted to return next week, but those who do face late fitness tests are Cattermole, Kyrgiakos and Richardson.

Wayne Bridge will be ineligible to play against his parent club due to the conditions of his loan contract. Although Sunderland could welcome back Jack Colback who could return after the birth of his child this week, and could fill in at the back for the visitors.

Did You Know?...
If Manchester City win today they will equal the all-time record for consecutive home wins (21), originally set by Liverpool in 1972.

City require only the one goal to equal their best-ever scoring tally in the Premier League to 73 that was originally set in the 2009-2010 season.

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