Two managers will see their teams in action for the first time when the whistle blows at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening. Several new players will be in their respective squads as well, with most of them wearing the home side’s colours. Sunderland fans are crying out for further additions ahead of kick-off, with Yann M’Vila the favourite to sign on a permanent basis. He spent a successful loan spell at the club last season. Ambitions for the season vary hugely between the two clubs, as City want a title challenge with Sunderland keen to avoid yet another relegation scrap.
Pep Guardiola arrived in the north west amid much celebration, taking over the role from Manuel Pellegrini. Sunderland, meanwhile, saw Sam Allardyce leave to take his dream job as England manager. He had helped Sunderland escape relegation in the previous season. Former Everton and Man United boss, David Moyes, was appointed his successor.
Interestingly enough, based on the end of last season, Sunderland go into this one as the in-form side. They avoided defeat in any of their last six games with two wins and four draws, while City managed three draws and three defeats. That said, the Citizens’ star quality mean it is difficult to see Sunderland getting much out of this one.
Man City have reinforced all across the tactics board through the summer, though. With big money signings such as John Stones and Gabriel Jesus they have made a statement of intent. There are goals in this team. While Sunderland’s defensive resolve has improved over the past few months it’s tough to see them keeping City at bay.
Stan James are offering 1/4 on City taking the points, and SkyBet have the draw at 5/1. 888 are offering a tempting 15/1 on Sunderland, who may look to give new signing Papy Djilobodji some game time. The Black Cats’ defensive partnership of Younes Kaboul and Lamine Kone looked steady and helped Sunderland cement some vital points last season, but the addition of Djilobodji does add some depth to their defensive options.
Bet Of The Match
Coral have a tempting one for this game – Yaya Toure to score at any time is 11/4. The biggest factor would appear to be whether or not he plays, but he loves playing against Sunderland. He has scored several against the Wearsiders in recent years – including a screamer in the 2014 League Cup Final.