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Manchester City travel to Sunderland to face David Moyes’ side at the Stadium Of Light on Sunday, looking to get three points to chase Chelsea for the Premier League title. On the other hand, Sunderland are looking to battle it out to stay in the Premier League. Here are three key battles to look forward to in the game:
The prolific goal-scorer has been tremendous for the Black Cats and his record against Manchester City speaks for itself as he has scored eight Premier League goals against Manchester City. John Stones has had a shaky season so far unable to live up to his price-tag at the blue side of Manchester. However, if City are to compete for the title, he will have to keep Defoe as quiet as possible as the English forward is still ruthless if he is given any space and time with or without the ball. His pace is also a threat factor along with his predatory instinct for goal.
The Sunderland captain has to face one of the most lethal strikers in the world in Sergio Aguero. With him unable to command and managed his back-line, the Citizens will surely run riot in front of goal. It’s a tough task but a few teams have managed to keep out City’s attack. Aguero is on the list of the top-scorers in the league and will be looking to add to his tally to help his side fight for the league. It could be a goal-fest or a frustrating outing for the Argentine forward, but it promises to be anything but a dull affair.
The ageing Ivorian may have lost a few notches of pace due to his conflict of interest with manager Pep Guardiola for his game-time, but he can be as menacing as ever when the ball is at his feet. Controlling the game and sliding in slick passes from the back, he still has got it all. It is up to Swiss attacker Sebastian Larsson to put pressure on him. The box-to-box midfielder is also capable of producing quality moments of magic and can cause a threat with his set-pieces. Whoever controls the centre of the pitch could decide the outcome of such a game.