Manchester City Aguero Silva Negredo
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero celebrates with teammates David Silva and Alvaro Negredo after scoring against West Ham in the English Premier League, October 19Reuters

After firing seven goals past Norwich in last weekend's English Premier League game, and then sealing progress to the last 16 of the Champions League, Manchester City will be licking their lips at the prospect of having a go at Sunderland, languishing in the bottom three with no real signs of improvement.

City finally seemed to have found their mojo under Manuel Pellegrini and look like a really dangerous attacking side in full flow.

With Sunderland in woeful form, notwithstanding the Tyne-Wear Derby win over Newcastle a couple of week back, City will be confident of yet another comfortable three points to put the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester United, who play later in the day.

City do not have a great record at the Stadium of Light, where they haven't won for five years, and the Manchester side's Achilles heel this season has been slack defending. Pellegrini wants his side to tighten up at the back, while not compromising on their attacking standards.

"For the moment we are an attacking team but it is important to know how to defend," Pellegrini said. "We cannot continue losing points away, we are six points behind Arsenal and they play United this weekend.

"The record is there to be broken. Two years ago we had not won the league in 44 years and now we have won it. At home I think we are doing very well, we are strong, but we must improve away."

Gus Poyet has to find a way to imbibe some confidence in his Sunderland side, after they suffered another poor defeat against Hull last weekend, going down to nine men.

A win against City might just be the kind of result needed to kickstart their season, but with the form that the former champions are in, it will be far from easy.

Team News: Sunderland will be without Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena, who are suspended after picking up red cards against Hull, while goalkeeper Kieren Westwood is a doubt.

Manchester City have been dealt a blow with David Silva out for up to four weeks with a calf injury. Skipper Vincent Kompany also remains sidelined, but is expected to feature after the international break.

Key men: Sunderland: Steven Fletcher is the man to score the goals for Sunderland, and Poyet will be hoping for a couple or so from the Scotland striker.

Manchester City: Sergio Aguero was named the Premier League player of the month after scoring nine goals in the last six games in all competitions. The Argentine's stunning form does not bode well for Sunderland.

Where to watch

The game is scheduled for a 7.35 pm IST start on Sunday night with live coverage on Star Sports 4. You can also catch the match live online by clicking the official link HERE. 

Expected lineups: Sunderland: Mannone; Gardner, Brown, O'Shea, Bardsley; Johnson, Colback, Ki, Larsson, Giaccherini; Fletcher.

Manchester City: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Aguero, Nasri; Negredo.

Prediction: 4-1 to Manchester City

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