Manchester City vs Sunderland preview: Stones in line to make debut

By Ric Turner, Fri 12 August 2016 16:41


Manchester City vs Sunderland preview: Stones in line to make debutOtamendi faces late fitness test on tendon injury

Manchester City vs Sunderland

Competition: F.A. Premier League

Date: 5.30pm, Saturday 13th August 2016

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Referee: Bobby Madley Assistants:P Kirkup, M Perry Fourth Official: N Swarbrick

Odds: City 1/4, Draw 5/1, Sunderland 12/1

Tickets: Available via mcfc.co.uk

TV: BT Sport

Manchester City

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Squad (from): Caballero, Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Mangala, Stones, Denayer, Clichy, Otamendi, Fernando, Nasri, Navas, De Bruyne, Delph, Silva, Fernandinho, Toure, Zinchenko, Sterling, Aguero, Iheanacho, Nolito, Bony

Injured: Gundogan, Sane, Kompany

Doubtful: Otamendi, Nasri

Suspended: None

Form guide: DDLWD

Sunderland

Manager: David Moyes

Squad (from): Pickford, Mannone, Jones, van Aanholt, Kaboul, O'Shea, Kone, Kirchoff, Cattermole, Larsson, Rodwell, Gomez, Khazri, Borini, Lens, Defoe, Watmore, Djilobodji, McNair, Love, Januzaj

Injured: Kirchoff

Doubtful: Defoe

Suspended: None

Form guide: DWWDD

Pep Guardiola knows "80 or 90%" of his starting line-up for his first ever game as City manager. John Stones could make his debut, just days after signing from Everton in a £47.5m deal whilst Nicolas Otamendi faces a late fitness test after suffering a tendon problem.

“Finally we could pick John Stones up and it’s important for us to have a young, English player with a huge talent," said Guardiola.. "Not just to defend but for the build-up, his intelligence and the ability to play through the lines. He’s a good, good player.

“He’s fit – he played four, five, six friendly games with Ronald Koeman at Everton. Sane didn’t train with us, he’s out – in the next week I think he’ll start to train.

“Stones has had a lack of time with his teammates but he reads the game so there are people who are intelligent. He reads what’s going on and what he needs to do – I think he’s ready.

“Nicolas is much, much better – he had a problem with his tendon. He will be fit but we have a little, little eye on the game in Romania so we’ll see tomorrow whether he’ll play against Sunderland.”

Guardiola called for patience as he attempts to implement a new playing style at the club, but reassured fans that the players will not lack effort.

“To create something you need time, to create ideas to attack, but for soul we don’t need time,” he said.

“Tomorrow I don’t know if we’re going to play good but I won’t accept if we don’t play with soul. We play tomorrow from the first day. That’s what I’m looking for from our team. I want our fans in the Etihad to see that. I want my players to play their football with pleasure inside.”

City's last home game against Sunderland ended in a 4-1 victory on Boxing Day 2015, with Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and Kevin De Bruyne getting the goals. Overall City have won 68 of the 144 games played against West Ham, with 26 draws and 50 defeats.

Prediction: City 3 Sunderland 1

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