We look ahead to Boxing Day clash.
Sunderland welcome Manchester City to the Stadium of Light on Wednesday for a traditional Boxing Day clash (KO 3pm).
The Black Cats are fresh from a 1-0 win at Southampton, earned thanks to a lone goal from Steven Fletcher.
Martin O’Neill’s men are yet to lose this season in games where Fletcher has been on the scoresheet.
The Scot leads the way on the scoring front with eight goals – level with last season’s leading marksmen Nicklas Bendtner, Seb Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon with half the season still to play.
City, meanwhile, saw off Reading 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a late goal from midfielder Gareth Barry, who played under Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa.
The result sees City four points behind Manchester United in the race for the title.
The defending champions have once again been formidable this season, winning 11, drawing six and losing just one of their 18 league games so far.
They have also scored 34 goals while conceding just 15 - the best defensive record in the league.
Sunderland, who have drawn three of their last four Boxing Day games, are unbeaten at home against City in their last three meetings, including back-to-back 1-0 wins.
The latest was achieved back on New Year’s Day, when Ji Dong-won scored a sensational late winner to lift the roof off the Stadium of Light.
Indeed, there has been a goal scored in the final five minutes of five of the last six meetings between City and Sunderland, and in the last two at the Stadium of Light it has been an injury-time winner for the Black Cats.
Wednesday’s game is the 135th between the two sides, with City holding a slight advantage with 62 wins to Sunderland’s 48. The teams have drawn on a further 24 occasions.
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