Sunderland - Manchester City Preview: Roberto Mancini`s side look to end three-game winless run on Wearside

London: The Black Cats` are hoping to improve on their dismal Boxing Day form against the Premier League champions who have the best away record in the top flight this season.

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill may stick with the same side that beat Southampton 1-0 on Saturday.

The 60-year-old has no new injury worries ahead of the visit of the Premier League champions as only long-term absentees Wes Brown and Lee Cattermole (both knee) are out.

Phil Bardsley may be brought back into the team with Adam Johnson (ankle) facing a late fitness test which would allow Craig Gardner to move back into midfield and Sebastian Larsson to start out wide.

Manchester City could be boosted by the return of captain Vincent Kompany (groin) for the trip to the Stadium Light.

The defender has spent the past two games on the sidelines but is expected to be fit to face the Black Cats.

Mario Balotelli may also come into contention after recovering from an illness while Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy are expected to overcome the knocks which kept them out of the clash against Reading, with the Frenchman set to start.

Samir Nasri (groin), Jack Rodwell (hamstring) and Micah Richards (knee) will all miss out.