Pellegrini hoping to engineer City to an away victory
By Aaron Leggott
Recent trips to the Stadium of Light haven't been filled with happiness for the Blues, with a flurry of last minute winners from the Mackems succumbing the Blues to defeat after defeat.
In fact, the last four victories have seen City failing to register a win - with three defeats and a draw the outcomes in that period.
And with Manuel Pellegrini's looking extremely frail on the road this season, this probably isn't the fixture they would have wanted next.
On paper City should be comfortable favourites, with the Black Cats only winning one of the last ten matches in the Premier League and the Blues looking in red hot form.
Pellegrini will be encouraged by his teams recent performances and after scoring twelve goals in just three hours of football, goals should not be a problem come Sunday afternoon.
Gus Poyet's recent appointment has brought a revival to the North-East outfit, and after Wednesday's Capital One Cup victory over in form Southampton, they will be brimming with confidence despite the task ahead.
Wes Brown is set to make a return to the side for his first start since January 2012, whilst goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is available for selection after recovering from a head injury.
City will be missing David Silva for the trip, with the Spaniard rumoured to be out for four weeks after picking up a calf injury against CSKA Moscow earlier in the week.
As mentioned above, on paper we should be winning this game comfortably if we are to have any ambitions to lift the title in May.
Despite their last two results at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland have looked very poor and a collection of individuals rather than a team.
But as we are all aware, football isn't played on paper and I foresee a tough game for the Blues on Sunday. Winning their previous two games at home will be a big boost to Poyet and his team and you imagine that they will try and get into City's faces from the first whistle and create an intimidating atmosphere.
If correct, the absence of both Fernandinho and Silva will be a big hit to our squad, but we should have the capabilities to battle on and at least get a point.
Prediction: Sunderland 1 - 1 City