A fascinating fixture for a number of reasons, Manchester City hosts relegation survivors Sunderland to open their respective Premier League campaigns at 12:30pm E.T. from the Etihad Stadium on CNBC or live online at NBCSports.com.
The biggest talking point from the Etihad is the teamsheets. Pep Guardiola holds no punches in his Premier League debut, benching England #1 goalkeeper Joe Hart in favor of Argentinian Willy Caballero. Guardiola praised Hart’s abilities prior to the match, but did leave the possibility open that Hart’s days at Manchester City could be numbered, and this decision seems to echo those thoughts.
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In addition to the goalkeeper change, new signing Jon Stones comes straight into the Manchester City defense, with the thin back line. Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi are both nursing injuries, although the latter finds himself fit enough for the bench. Amid rumors of an exit, Eliaquim Mangala does not make the teamsheet despite the lack of options.
For the visitors, an American makes his Premier League debut as 20-year-old Lynden Gooch is handed a season-opening start from David Moyes. The young winger is a Sunderland youth product who has spent time on loan at Doncaster and Gateshead.
Sunderland – Mannone, Love, van Aanholt, Kaboul, Kone, O’Shea, Rodwell, Gooch, Watmore, Borini, Defoe.
Bench – Pickford, Djilobodji, Lens, McNair, Khazri, Asoro, Januzaj