Man City v Sunderland: Black Cats to frustrate the champions
Mancini only beaten Sunderland once in five attempts; this promises to be toughest test
Man City were fortunate to escape with a draw from their Champions League tussle with Dortmund, with the exuberant German champions carving out umpteen opportunities against a back three which once again looked vulnerable.
An unbeaten Sunderland side won’t let them have it all their own way at the Etihad either. Roberto Mancini has struggled against the Black Cats since his appointment in late 2009, winning just one of his five meetings with them and drawing two. A repeat of the latter here pays out at 4/1.
The Black Cats led 3-1 with five minutes to go the last time the two locked horns, only for a late City onslaught to salvage them a point. Sunderland led in the other previous draw of the Mancini era, which also had involved a late Citizens comeback.
A sizeable 9/1 says that City will come from behind to get a draw in this one, while you can back a goal to be scored by either team in the final 15 minutes – there’s been five in games with Mancini in charge – at 4/5.
What’s more is that the two teams have amassed nine draws between them already this season, proving the difficulty involved with beating either of them.
One of Ladbrokes’ most charitable moves ever could be the 3/1 they’re offering for Scottish goal-machine Steven Fletcher to net at any time in this game.
He’s scored five in four Premier League games in which he’s donned the Sunderland shirt and, with City’s defence looking far from impermeable, there’s nothing to put off that sequence continuing here.
Meanwhile, returning winger Adam Johnson will have a point to prove to the team who deemed him surplus to requirements. He can be backed at 13/2 to put his name on the scoresheet at any time, while a first or last strike nets a cool 18/1.
All odds and markets correct as of publication’s time and date