Sunderland v MAN CITY – THE PREVIEW: What Is Your Prediction…

28 Aug

After a sweet victory over FC Tiramisu in the Europa League, Man City turn their attention back towards the day-to-day rigours of the Premier League as they travel north to face a mercurial Sunderland side. The Black Cats are a dangerous proposition if in the right mood, so the Blues will hope to catch them on an off-day.

Last season, an injury time equalizer from Adam Johnson rescued City’s blushes after being outfought for the majority of the game. This season, however, my good friend Roberto Mancini has added players unlikely to lose in a battle, players who will stand up in a fight and be counted.

Mancini is expected to revert back to the eleven who were so outstanding against Liverpool, after resting many during midweek. Despite their excellent performances, Patrick Vieira and Dedryck Boyata will drop to the bench, as the likes of Johnson, James Milner and the Touré brothers are recalled. Mario Balotelli is still sidelined with injury, as are new signings Jerome Boateng, Aleksandar Kolarov, in addition to former Chelsea man, Wayne Bridge.

For the home side, Kenwyne Jones, a perennial source of danger to City, has moved on to Stoke, whilst on-loan defender, Nedum Onuoha, is not eligible to play against his ‘home’ club. In Kieran Richardson, Fraizer Campbell, Danny Welbeck and Phil Bardsley, along with their manager Steve Bruce, Sunderland possess a number of individuals formerly attached to Manchester United, adding a further spice to this fixture.

Kieron Richardson Kieron Richardson  celebrates scoring the second Sunderland goal during the Amsterdam Tournament match between Sunderland and Atletico Madrid at the Amsterdam Arena on July 26, 2009 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

This is the team which is expected to start the game:

                                                                         Hart

Richards                        K. Touré                                  Kompany                       Lescott

A. Johnson                Y. Touré             de Jong                     Barry                   Milner

                                                                        Tévez

Subs: Given, Zabaleta, Boyata, Vieira, SWP, Adebayor, Silva

Key Battles

Titus Bramble v Carlos Tévez

Bruce was widely ridiculed in the summer following his purchase of the error-prone former Wigan centre-back, but despite his reputation, Bramble is a more than capable defender who can, on his day, be a rock at the back. Tévez, the City captain, found his goalscoring touch in the last match, so will hope to carry on his good work on Sunday.

Steed Malbranque v James Milner

The Frenchman has often caused the Blues trouble in the past, with his trickery and creativity making him a valuable asset, but whereas Sunderland have Malbranque, City have acquired the services of Milner from Aston Villa. The tee-total midfielder will hope to carry on from where he left off against Liverpool, where he put in one of the best performances seen in a City shirt.

Darren Bent v Vincent Jean Mpoy Kompany

Kompany has been outstanding this season, helping to keep four clean sheets, but he will have a job on his hands to nullify the threat of the prolific Bent. Shorn of strike partner Kenwyne Jones, Bent has even more responsibility on his shoulders this season, but is capable of scoring a goal from nowhere, so the whole City backline will have to be on their guard.

Referee: Mike Dean – The man from the Wirral is one of the most highly rated refs in the Premier League and makes the correct decision more often that not, but he does have a penchant for pointing to the penalty spot, as City will testify after the Birmingham game last year.

Prediction: A tough game for the Blues as the hosts will battle for their lives, but I predict Sunderland 1 2 MAN CITY, with goals to be scored by Darren Bent, Carlos Tévez and James Milner.

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7 Responses to “Sunderland v MAN CITY – THE PREVIEW: What Is Your Prediction…”

  1. Alec 28/08/2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Nice, punchy preview Steven.

    My prediction: 1-1 (Bent 27, Johnson 82)

    I think you missed a trick though, the perfect chance for what I believe would have been the first VFAB lookalike, Kieron Richardson and Craig Charles.

    By the way, it’s Kieron Richardson, not Keiron as you put in para 4.

  2. Alec 28/08/2010 at 7:24 pm #

    Actually, it’s neither Kieron or Keiron, it’s Kieran. 😉

    • View From A Blue 28/08/2010 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks Alec. Actually, the first look-a-like was Balotelli and Richards – absolute spitting image!!

  3. Ricky 28/08/2010 at 9:12 pm #

    What a name Kompany has.

    I think it will be a tough game – but not as tough, hopefully, as we made it out to be last term.

    I’ll punt for a 3-1. Tevez bagging another 2 with a cheeky free kick from milner. Bent with a late consolation.

    Is it on the tv?

  4. Plattsy 28/08/2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Nice preview, although I think you overestimate Sunderland’s capabilities. Personally I can see them struggling to make the top 12 this year, and I think we could roll them over tomorrow (perhaps wishful thinking!).

    P.S. I find it extraordinary that Darren Bent is ‘capable of scoring a goal from nowhere’ – he might as well be left on the bench if he can do that!

    • View From A Blue 28/08/2010 at 9:25 pm #

      Thanks Ricky and Plattsy. Nope, it’s not on tv, unnless it’s iraqigoals you’re looking for 😉

      Plattsy, as I’m sure you are aware, it’s a phrase, common in everydau usage, similar to ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’. Clearly, you don’t look up at the sky, expecting to see Cheshire cats or pitbull terriors snarling at you, and do you know why? Because c’est un phrase…

  5. Browny 28/08/2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Standard preview

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