It’s a tale of two different struggles as Manchester City take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, kicking off at 9:05 am ET on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
After backing Edin Dzeko to be the man up front for Manchester City before the season, Citizens manager Manuel Pellegrini has come to the realization that Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo seem to be the men for the job.
The pair has nine goals between them so far this season, which has seen Dzeko’s minutes again limited.
The midfield has supplied the pair well, with Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure both on great form as well. They both start, although David Silva is out for some time with a calf injury.
The big question for Manchester City remains goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has had a terrible run of form and was benched for his mishaps, and continues to ride the pine today in favor of Costel Pantilimon. In all it’s five changes for Pellegrini from their win over Norwich.
For the home side, they picked up their first win of the season two weeks ago to lift them off the bottom of the table, but subsequently slumped back down against Hull City 1-0 last week and remain languished in 19th place.
American striker Jozy Altidore, yet to score in Premier League play, sits on the bench today with just Steven Fletcher up front. New Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has toyed with different combinations of one or both of Fletcher and Altidore since taking charge.
Sunderland – Mannone; Celustka, Bardsley, Brown, O’Shea; Ki, Larsson, Colback, Johnson, Giaccherini; Fletcher.
Bench – Westwood, Cabral, Gardner, Altidore, Diakite, Borini, Mavrias.
Manchester City – Pantilimon; Richards, Demichelis, Lescott, Kolarov; Milner, Toure, Garcia, Nasri; Aguero, Negredo.
Bench – Hart, Zabaleta, Clichy, Boyata, Navas, Rodwell, Dzeko.