The Premier League champions entertain Sunderland this weekend as both sides look to consolidate their unbeaten starts to the campaign.
Despite their win at Fulham last weekend, the form of Manchester City has been highly indifferent, especially when compared to the excellent performances they were achieving at this point last season. The scrambled draw at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in midweek sums up their season thus far – just as capable of winning games as they were losing. Similarly to the fixture against Fulham, they created a number of opportunities themselves but were often extremely vulnerable at the back and were only reprieved by the saves of Joe Hart.
It took late goals to beat Southampton and QPR whilst Arsenal were only denied victory by their own inefficiency in front of goal. City are yet to earn a clean sheet this term (they had three at this stage last season) which has made the emphasis on scoring goals even greater. They are on a twelve game unbeaten run though, which must not be forgotten amidst their poor form.
Sunderland secured their first win of the campaign last weekend, which despite some encouraging form, was their first victory in the Premiership since March. The signing of Steven Fletcher has proved inspired and he has been the team’s only source of goals so far this season. He has too been the first goalscorer in four matches in a row. Adam Johnson, who has rarely featured since his summer move due to injury, will also be making his return to the City of Manchester Stadium. Many felt he still had a role to play at the club so he will surely be looking to make a big impact.
Sunderland took more points than any other side of City last year – a win at the Stadium of Light coupled with a draw at Eastlands, which was the only occasion City dropped points at home. They too have a good record against City in recent seasons and have only been beaten by City twice in the past three seasons. City’s failure to keep a clean sheet this season coupled with the current potency of Steven Fletcher means goals are a certainty in this games. The last time City were even involved in a goalless game was last December, some twenty-six games ago. Any bets on Sunderland to win would be ambitious though – the last time they beat City was almost fifteen years ago, in 1998.
Man City – 2/7 with Ladbrokes, Sunderland – 14/1 with Stan James, Draw – 5/1 with Sky Bet
City to win 2-1 at 8/1 with William Hill
Steven Fletcher to score first at 12/1 with Paddy Power
Draw at half time, City at full time at 7/2 with Betfred
Free Premier League Bet Offers (click the bookie to get the free bet):