Sunderland vs. Manchester City Preview

Barclays Premier League

Published: 07/01/2012

Manchester Cityís outright and match betting odds are tumbling with every Premier League game that goes by and they will once again be strong favourites to rack up another victory when they take on struggling Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on New Yearís Day.

The fixture will unquestionably be Martin OíNeillís first real acid test as Sunderlandís new manager and he will be keen to pit his wits against opposite number Roberto Mancini who has masterminded Cityís excellent start to the 2011/2012 campaign.

OíNeill will assumedly be aching to acquire some new players in the January transfer window and this match should provide him with a thorough examination of his squad.

The former Leicester City boss will of course be hoping that his want for new faces can be quelled by a strong team performance against the league leaders Ė however it seems likely that City will merely expose the parts of OíNeillís line up that need improvement.

The Black Cats have endured mixed fortunes at home during their first eight games at the Stadium of Light this season and are evidently not the force they once were on their own turf.

Manciniís men take on West Brom on Boxing Day and anything less than a six point haul from that match and this will probably be considered a disappointment as they seek to stretch their advantage over rivals Manchester United.

City are 1/2 to claim a Boxing Day success at the Hawthorns and are currently available at similar odds for a triumph on Tyneside.

Although backing at odds on away from home in the Premier League carries a fair amount of risk in relation to reward, it is difficult to see City not prevailing on both counts.

Sunderland could well deliver a tougher challenge than West Brom and that can be expected following OíNeillís recent appointment.

His first job must be to make his new team tough to beat and a force to be reckoned with once again at home.

But City have such a big squad which is packed full of quality and they will be fresh for the trip up north despite having come through another away fixture just days before.

Despite being on course for a near Premier League points record as the season reaches its half way stage, there is no margin for error for City.

For now, their premature exit from the Champions League has been skirted over as the club focuses primarily on wrestling away the Premier League crown from United.

But the Red Devils, despite losing 1-6 at home in the Manchester derby, are right on the coat tails of City and are poised to pounce back to the league summit should City suffer another defeat over the festive period.

This could be one of Cityís tougher assignments on the road in recent weeks but the 1/2 looks bankable and the league leaders can continue to set a blitzkrieg pace to kick start their New Year.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (07/01/2012) but are subject to change.

07/01/2012     © Frixo 2018

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