Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Monday November 5 2007
City of Manchester Stadium
5th November 2007
Manchester City entertain a Sunderland side that have only achieved one Premiership victory over City and none in Manchester. So the omens look good for a City victory this evening.
"I don`t expect an easy game. They are a fighting team and have a very good centre forward in Kenwyne Jones - he`s strong.
"It will be a battle again and so far I`ve not seen any easy games in the Premier League - it was easy for Chelsea last Saturday - but for us it`s never been easy.
"If we want to take the three points we have to play good football and we have to defend very well."
He then talks about Sunderland: "I expect Sunderland to come here, not attacking too much, defending very well. They are a physically strong team who are good on the counter attack - so I expect that to be the picture of the game. We have to play good football and be aware of their counter attacks.'
Micah Richards is set to miss out for Manchester City because of a bruised knee but should return the following Sunday at Portsmouth.
Winger Martin Petrov is available again after a toe injury.
The big question is one about the goalkeeper. This is an area we seriosly lack quality experience as I do not think Isaksson is good enough and so I would rather see Joe Hart play and gain more experience because I think he is at this present time our best goalkeeper.
His last two games in a City shirt have not been his best, but he was there at Bolton to create and score the disputed penalty. The guy has the hallmarks of becoming a true City legend.
The Black Cats are without suspended pair Paul McShane and Greg Halford. Teenager Michael Kay will be in the squad. Keane could reshuffle his defence, bringing in Ian Harte on the left side, switching Danny Collins to the middle of the back-four and Nyron Nosworthy to the right. Graham Kavanagh, back from a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday, is included. Dwight Yorke and Roy O'Donovan face late fitness tests before Keane finalises his travelling squad. The game comes too soon for Dean Whitehead, Carlos Edwards and City Old boy, Andy Cole.
The big powerful forward reminds you of a young hungry Emile Heskey in his days at Leicester - a real handful.
With Arsenal drawing against United at the weekend City are the only Premiership team to still boast a 100% home record; one which I am sure they wish to continue.
he Black Cats' last away win at City was in a Championship match at Maine Road on January 17, 1998, Kevin Phillips scoring in a 1-0 victory. But they last tasted victory against City in the top flight nearly seven years ago; 23rd December 2000 with a solitary Don Hutchinson goal settling proceedings.
f he plays Dickson ETUHU will also be facing former club mates. The 25 year old midfielder made 13 appearances (12 in the league) in one and a half seasons with Manchester City before a move to Preston in January 2002.
The referee tonight is Alan Wiley and his assistants are Andy Halliday and Trevor Massey. The fourth official is Mark Halsey. This is Alan Wiley's first City match this season, but Sunderland's second where he saw Sunderland defeat Spurs with a late Chopra goal where he booked Dean Whitehead who will not be playing. Wiley last refereed City in April in a dour nil nil draw with Charlton where no body was booked.
A hard fought game but just like Derby at home in August, a scrappy one nil victory to City; i'm going with Petrov as the scorer.
City away to high flying and high scoring Portsmouth this Sunday 11th a 4pm kick off on sky.
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Date:Monday November 5 2007
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