SAFC v Morecambe

Preview: Man City v Sunderland

by Kate Smith

Match preview ahead of Saturday’s game.

Sunderland head to the Etihad Stadium this weekend for the 134th competitive fixture between the two sides.

City have won 61 of those fixtures, with Sunderland winning 61 and a further 24 games ending in draws.

But it’s the Black Cats who’ve held the upper hand recently, claiming four points from the eventual champions last season.

Ji Dong-won’s late goal sealed a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light on New Year’s Day before the sides played out an exciting 3-3 stalemate at the Etihad Stadium back in March.

The draw saw Sunderland become the only side to take anything at the Etihad in the league all season – indeed, they were only a whisker away from claiming all three points.

Martin O’Neill’s side head south looking for a first ever win at the Etihad Stadium – their last away victory against City coming in January 1998 thanks to Kevin Phillips’ lone goal.

Saturday’s game sees two of the Barclays Premier League’s unbeaten teams go head-to-head. Only Chelsea are also yet to taste defeat in the top flight this season.

City, who scored a late goal to secure a 2-1 win at Fulham in their last league outing, sit fourth in the division and have won three and drawn three of their six games so far.

Meanwhile Sunderland, who have played a game less, have drawn four times and picked up a victory against Wigan last time out.

City’s record of eight league goals conceded is double Sunderland’s defensive total (four goals shipped).

Roberto Mancini’s men, however, have scored 12 league goals to Sunderland’s five.

Opta Facts

Manchester City have lost none of their last 32 Barclays Premier League home games (W29 D3 L0), but Sunderland (3-3 in March 2012) was one of the three draws.

Man City have won just one of their last five Barclays Premier League games against Sunderland (W1 D2 L2).

Former City player Adam Johnson has scored twice in this fixture, once at the Etihad in a 5-0 win and once at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland’s 3-3 draw at the Etihad in March ended a run of seven straight league defeats away at Man City for the Black Cats.

Steven Fletcher has scored five goals from just five shots on target in the Barclays Premier League this season.

Sunderland are unbeaten in their opening five games of a top flight season for the first time since 1954-55.

The Black Cats have the best conversion rate of any team in the top flight (24%).

City have won nine and lost none of their last 12 Barclays Premier League games.

Steven Fletcher is the first player since Daniel Sturridge at Bolton in 2010-11 to score in his four opening games for a Barclays Premier League club.