Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has already voiced his displeasure about Saturday’s early kick-off against Sunderland, but that won’t stop Joe Hart from retaining his place between the sticks after a brilliant performance in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund.
The Italian manager is still trying to find the right formula after a shaky start to the campaign for the Citizens, particularly in defence, which means Joleon Lescott is set to return at the heart of the back four. Micah Richards is unavailable through injury, but Maicon could make the squad.
Javi Garcia was substituted during the first-half in midweek with a thigh injury, and is now unlikely to start against the Black Cats. Yaya Toure was also struggling at full-time, but the Ivorian is expected to be fit for Manchester City.
In the more advanced positions, Mancini has options with James Milner pushing for a start in a forward-thinking three that will contain David Silva, whilst attacking duo Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli will also be hoping to feature.
That means either Edin Dzeko or Sergio Aguero will be left disappointed by the manager’s selection at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City predicted line-up v Sunderland:
Joe Hart; Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy; Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry; James Milner, David Silva, Carlos Tevez; Sergio Aguero.