Manchester City will look to bounce back from back-to-back losses with a victory over Sunderland in the Capital One Cup third round match at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
City went down to Juventus and West Ham at home in the Champions League and English Premier League respectively last week, and Manuel Pellegrini will not want to make it a hat-trick of losses when they travel to Sunderland.
Manchester City have not played too badly over those two matches, but those goals just haven't come when required. Against West Ham, they huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed again, doing everything but blow the West Ham house down, with Slaven Bilic's men showing again they are the new masters of beating the top teams in their own backyard.
While those two losses have curbed the momentum earned by five straight wins to start the season, Pellegrini will know a good showing against Sunderland and the attacking juggernaut will be right back on course.
"In the last two games we didn't play with the concentration or intensity we had shown in the first five games," Pellegrini, who is likely to be without David Silva and Vincent Kompany, said. "We never believed we had won the title after just five games, we just always focus on the next game.
"It was a difficult week with the Champions League and then losing [to West Ham]. There's a long time to go and we must show a good reaction on Tuesday."
For Sunderland, who beat Exeter City in the second round, this match is an opportunity to escape their Premier League struggles, with the club managing just two points from their first six matches, which sees them bottom of the table. A victory over Manchester City might just be the fillip needed to get their season back on track.
"We have nothing to lose, in my opinion, against a top European club," Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat said. "We can see in the figures the improvement of the players physically and we're coming to a level where there are no excuses anymore.
"We are moving in the right direction but as I said if you get new players in the physical condition they came to us it takes time.
"We have the quality to come through I have no doubts about that, it is just a matter of when. We have to play against a very good side but we have to show something after Saturday's game.
"We will play a little differently in the lineup so I have to take a look at some players and how they do in a different position – a normal position for me but different to what I did before. I still have a good feeling about this squad."
Where to Watch Live
Manchester City vs Sunderland Capital One Cup third round is scheduled for a 12.15 am IST (7.45 pm BST, 2.45 pm ET) start with no live coverage on TV in India or the UK.
Viewers in the US, Canada, France, Middle East and North Africa can watch the League Cup action live on Bein Sports, while the match can also be watched via live streaming online on Bein Sports Connect.