Manchester City vs Sunderland – Match Preview

Mario Balotelli, Manchester City striker

Manchester City welcome Sunderland to the Etihad this Saturday lunchtime hoping for a first clean sheet of the season.

Mancini and his side have come under scrutiny this week for their defending, after Borussia Dortmund were only denied three Champions League points by a Joe Hart masterclass.

Martin O’Neil goes into the game with his side having recorded their first win of the season last weekend over Wigan.

Javi Garcia is likely to miss the game with a hamstring injury he picked up in midweek, whilst Jack Rodwell is set to return having made his comeback from a two game absence against Dortmund.

Full back Maicon may be fit to return having been struggling with a heel problem.

Sunderland have no fresh injury concerns, but will be without captain Lee Cattermole who remains suspended.

Defenders Phil Bardsley, Wes Brown and Carlos Cueller are available again, but all short of match fitness.

The corresponding fixture last season ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, in which Mario Balotelli scored twice. The Italian showed his nerve in midweek to score a 90th minute penalty, which could be enough to earn him a start.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Sunderland