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Barclays Premier League

Stadium of Light (ATT 42,190) 26th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: K Friend

Sunderland Sunderland vs Manchester City Man City

Sunderland 1

A Johnson (53)


Premier League: Sunderland hoping to put a dent in Manchester City's title bid

Last Updated: 24/12/12 9:41am

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Martin O'Neill: Hoping to steer Sunderland clear of relegation trouble

Martin O'Neill: Hoping to steer Sunderland clear of relegation trouble

Sunderland will be looking to edge further clear of trouble on Boxing Day, while putting a serious dent in Manchester City's title bid.

The Black Cats enjoyed a pre-Christmas boost when they saw off Southampton at St Mary's, with two wins in three lifting them four points clear of the relegation zone.

There is, however, still work to be done heading into the New Year if Martin O'Neill's men are to avoid being dragged into a basement battle.

A meeting with reigning champions City is unlikely to have featured prominently on their festive wish list, but the Black Cats did beat the Blues at the Stadium of Light last season.

Roberto Mancini's men will be wary of suffering a repeat on Wearside, with a dramatic victory over Reading on Saturday having allowed them to close to within four points of table-topping Manchester United.

The challenge now is to ensure that there are no untimely slip-ups before the end of the year, with City determined to make life as uncomfortable as possible for their arch-rivals at the summit.

Sunderland Badge Sunderland

Sunderland are sweating on the involvement of Adam Johnson against his former employers.

The Black Cats' summer signing from City hobbled out of the action at Southampton on Saturday and O'Neill is unsure as to whether the winger will be ready for an immediate return to action.

Lee Cattermole (knee) and Wes Brown (knee ligaments) remain on the sidelines.

Man City Badge Man City

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (groin) could return on Wednesday after being kept on the bench as a precaution last weekend.

Striker Mario Balotelli (illness) could also come back into contention while left-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy will hope to overcome niggles.

Forward Samir Nasri is out with a hamstring injury while right-back Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) remain on the long-term casualty list.

Previous game's starting line-ups

  • Mannone 25 Mannone
  • Jones 2 Jones
  • Vergini 27 Vergini
  • O'Shea 16 O'Shea
  • van Aanholt 3 van Aanholt
  • Cattermole 6 Cattermole
  • Buckley 30 Buckley
  • Larsson 7 Larsson
  • Rodwell 8 Rodwell

  • Johnson A 11 Johnson A

  • Wickham 10 Wickham

Team taken from Sunderland vs Swansea City (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 27th September 2014

  • Caballero 13 Caballero
  • Zabaleta 5 Zabaleta
  • Kompany 4 Kompany
  • Mangala 20 Mangala
  • Clichy 22 Clichy
  • Milner 7 Milner
  • Fernandinho 25 Fernandinho

  • Toure Y 42 Toure Y
  • Silva 21 Silva

  • Dzeko 10 Dzeko
  • Aguero 16 Aguero

Team taken from Manchester City vs Hull City (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 27th September 2014

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