Manchester City go into their Boxing day fixture four points off the Premier League leaders Manchester United, and Roberto Mancini will be hoping to close that gap against struggling Sunderland today.

The Black Cats could be without former-Manchester City winger Adam Johnson – the ex-City player limped off at the weekend with a dead leg and is rated as doubtful for the return of his old club.

As for Manchester City, Roberto Mancini’s cause could be helped by the return of club captain Vincent Kompany, who missed the nerve-wracking victory over Reading with a groin injury, and Mario Balotelli, who also missed out through illness.

The City manager also has a potential problem at fullback, with Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy both rated as doubtful, while France international Samir Nasri has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

In this very same fixture last season, Martin O’Neil’s side sprung a huge surprise with a last-gasp victory over Manchester City – Ji Dong Won grabbing the winner deep into stoppage time.

Mancini will be keen to avoid a repeat this time around, and City can ill afford many more slip-ups as they look to chase down United. The Premier League pace-setters are also in action in a packed Boxing Day fixture list. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side take on Newcastle at home. Both games are 3pm kick-offs.

So, with the team news in, here is your GMF Manchester City predicted lineup for the trip to Sunderland...

Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Sinclair, Silva, Aguero, Tevez

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