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Premier League Preview: Sunderland - Manchester City

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Premier League Preview: Sunderland - Manchester City
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Premier League Preview: Sunderland - Manchester City

Free-scoring Manchester City will be plotting to heap more misery on struggling Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side has scored 12 goals in its last two games, meaning Sunderland - which sits second-bottom in the Premier League - is likely to have its work cut out as the club goes in search of just its second win of the season.

City will be full of confidence having qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time with a 5-2 beating of CSKA Moscow in midweek - a result that followed up a 7-0 hammering of Norwich last Saturday. 

But the team must address its away form if it is to challenge for the Premier League title, having won just once in five matches on its travels this term.

Pellegrini's men will also need to improve its poor recent record at Sunderland. The 2011-12 champion has lost 1-0 on each of its last three top-flight trips to the Stadium of Light. 

However, in Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo City has a strike duo in fine form.

Aguero was named Premier League player of the month for October on Friday, after scoring four goals in three league matches.

Negredo, meanwhile, scored a hat trick in the victory over CSKA, meaning he has five goals in his last three outings. 

Negredo’s Spain international teammate David Silva will play no part against Sunderland, though, after he was ruled out for up to a month with a calf injury sustained on Tuesday.

The playmaker joins captain Vincent Kompany (thigh) and striker Stevan Jovetic (calf) on the sidelines, while Brazil international Fernandinho and center back Matija Nastasic will undergo fitness tests after they picked up knocks in midweek.

Second-bottom Sunderland failed to build on its 2-1 victory over arch-rival Newcastle - Gus Poyet’s first home match in charge - when the team was beaten at Hull City last weekend.

A Capital One Cup victory over Southampton in midweek was a tonic for Poyet’s charges, but they need to start picking up points in the league if they are to avoid a relegation scrap.

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is a doubt after missing the midweek victory with concussion, but Wes Brown could make his first top-flight start since January 2012 after featuring against the Saints.

Striker Steven Fletcher is set to return to the starting lineup, but defender Andrea Dossena and midfielder Lee Cattermole are suspended after being sent off at Hull. 

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