Capital One Cup: Weary Sunderland and Man City meet again in cup clash
As the Capital One Cup gets underway again, former 2013/14 final foes Sunderland and Manchester City are thrown together once more, each with their respective recent Premier League problems.
The Black Cats may find this Stadium of Light showdown a welcome break from the rigours of league duty, which has so far not been kind to the Mackems, as they currently sit rock bottom.
Sunderland have, however, proven to be a thorn is the side of City during recent seasons, particularly on home soil, where they have snatched 13 points from a possible 18 against their richer rivals.
With their only win of the campaign across all competitions so far occurring in this cup, Dick Advocaat’s team are 5/1 to be victors over 90 mins in this fixture, with intriguing odds of 20/1 for a 1-0 result in their favour, a scoreline which has occurred in four of Man City’s past five visits.
A David and Goliath bust-up may be somewhat of a fairytale this time around, though, as the Northeast outfit are severely struggling and, despite putting three past City last season, the Sky Blues responded by scoring seven to do the double over their opposition.
While Manuel Pellegrini’s men must still be sour about a duo of their own defeats last week, the visitors will undoubtedly be dangerous.
Memories should still be fresh from the Citizens’ 3-1 Wembley win against the Black Cats, and the guests are 17/4 to better that by firing in four or more, as the Black Cats’ backline is yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
Speaking of which, City will be keen to shut out Sunderland after dinting their own previously spotless clean sheet record last week, so make sense at 6/4 to win to nil.
All three of the Sky Blues scorers from that cup final clash are still present and accounted for, with Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas, respective anytime shouts at 11/4 and 7/2, perhaps both likely to get minutes again with doubts over David Silva’s fitness. Another scorer from that famous day, Yaya Toure, also opened the floodgates last time these two teams met, and is 6/1 to be first on the scoresheet again.
Other attacking options for Man City also include super striker Sergio Aguero and new boy Kevin De Bruyne (2/1 in the anytime market), who combined well at the weekend despite defeat.
As for the Sunderland strike-force, Italian forward Fabio Borini, who also grabbed a goal in the Wembley scuffle, is 7/2 to score again anytime, while dangerous Jermain Defoe can be backed at 11/4 in the same market after hitting a hat-trick last time out in the cup.
Betting tip: Man City are marvellous at 17/4 to score four or more