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Sunday, 01 January 2012

Sunderland v Manchester City: Will City start 2012 with a glut of goals?


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Sunderland v Man City

Manchester City dropped crucial points away at the Hawthorns on Boxing Day allowing Manchester United to close the gap at the top. And it doesn't get any easier for the boys in blue as they take on a resurgent Sunderland side managed by the effervescent Martin O'Neill.

Roberto Mancini's men have destroyed teams this season, but the Italian will be glad to see the back of December. They lost their unbeaten record at Chelsea and dropped another two points at West Brom. Mancini will be hoping his side can get back to winning ways at the Stadium of Light.

City tore Sunderland apart last season at the Etihad, running out 5-0 winners, but they didn't have a great time of it at the Stadium of Light, losing 1-0 thanks to a last-minute Darren Bent penalty. However, with the likes of Silva, Nasri, Johnson, Balotelli and Aguero bearing down on goal, this will be a huge test of Sunderland's credentials.

The Black Cats have moved away from the relegation zone in recent weeks and another win here could push them up to mid-table. They were unlucky not to have clinched all three points against Everton after conceding a penalty that never was, but O'Neill has only lost once as Sunderland manager.

Manchester City's last win at the Stadium of Light came in August 2008 as Stephen Ireland and Shaun Wright-Phillips scored in a 3-0 success. They have the players to do that again and with United getting beat by Blackburn yesterday will they extend their lead at the top of the table or will Martin O'Neill place a huge spoke in the visitor's title dreams? Our pundits think it will be a tough game but that City will come out on top.

Sunderland v Manchester City; Kick Off 4pm January 1 2012

Prediction Panel

Arsenal

Don McMahon

1

V

0

Aston Villa

Frank Pattison

1

V

3

Blackburn

Terry Kennedy

1

V

2

Bolton

Dave Blackburn

1

V

3

Chelsea

Joe Tyler

0

V

1

Everton

Chris Goodwin

1

V

3

Fulham

Neil Springate

1

V

2

Liverpool

Mark Williams

1

V

2

Man City

Callum Rothwell

1

V

2

Man Utd

Peter Lee

0

V

2

Newcastle

Michael Stout

1

V

2

Norwich City

Sue Read

1

V

3

QPR

Arjun Swaminathan    

0

V

3

Stoke City

Philip Eccleston

1

V

3

Sunderland

Tony Ratton

2

V

2

Tottenham

Mike Richards

1

V

5

Swansea

Jim White

1

V

3

West Brom

Andy Wakeman

1

V

3

Wigan

Alan Moore

2

V

3

Wolves

Chris Cox

1

V

3

 

 

 

 

 

OUR EXPERTS

 

 

 

 

Writer

Colin Illingworth

1

V

3

Writer

Steve Coulter

2

V

0

Writer

Phil Bundy

1

V

3

Writer

Mitch Waddon

1

V

4

Writer

Matt Turner

TBA    

V    

TBA

Writer

Chris Pettitt

0

V

1

Writer

Hugh Larkin

0

V

2

Aston Villa fan

Lynette Ranson

0

V

2

Blackpool fan

Phil Trow

1

V

2

Boro fan

Sue Gardener

1

V

1

Fulham fan

Russell Goldman

1

V

2

Pompey fan

Dan Taylor

1

V

2

Pompey fan

Peter Rendle

0

V

3

West Ham fan

Matthew Beeby

2

V

2

West Ham fan

Nigel Telfer

0

V

3

Editor

Antony Melvin

1

V

2

Panel Verdict

Manchester City are tipped to extend their lead at the top.

Home: 2; Draw: 1; Away: 32. TBA 1

* Do we have it right or do you know better? We’d love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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