Manchester City have a poor recent record in this fixture, but start as strong favourites. Michael Cox looks at the tactics, Alan Thompson assesses the betting...
"Manchester City will unquestionably dominate possession at the Stadium of Light"
Sunderland v Manchester City
Live on Sky Sports 1
Match Odds: Sunderland 12.011/1, Manchester City 1.330/100, The Draw 6.411/2.
Manchester City have often struggled away at Sunderland - they managed to lose 1-0 at the Stadium of Light four consecutive times between 2010 and 2013.
Their last two visits have ended in victories, however, and against a poor Sunderland side decimated by injuries, Pep Guardiola's team should encounter few problems here.
David Moyes is sweating on the fitness of both his goalkeepers, with Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone both considered doubtful. Pickford appears more likely to start, and the goalkeeper has rescued Sunderland many times this season - but he may be short of match fitness.
Papy Djilobodji should be fit to return to the defence, but Billy Jones, Jason Denayer and Jan Kirchhoff are all considered doubtful. It's difficult to work out precisely how Moyes will format his defence, and it's also uncertain whether he'll play a three-man defence or a back four.
The 3-5-1-1 seems more likely, however, and Moyes will seek to pack midfield in order to compete against Manchester City. Didier N'Dong, Sebastian Larsson and Darron Gibson seems a likely trio. They're hardly the most mobile players around, however, and it's difficult to imagine they'll have much chance stopping David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne from creating a succession of chances for Sergio Aguero.
Wing-backs Bryan Oviedo and Adnan Januzaj are likely to be pinned back by Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane - and it wouldn't be surprised if Januzaj made way for a more defensive option like Jones, although he's yet another currently considered doubtful.
Ultimately Sunderland will play almost exclusively on the break. Fabio Borini will buzz around and work the channels, while Jermain Defoe is likely to lead the line solo for long periods. Both offer pace, which could cause City's high defensive line problems, but it will be a surprise if Sunderland create more than a couple of decent chances.
Aside from long-term absencs Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gunodgan, Guardiola only has one major problem - Aleksandar Kolarov might be ruled out. That's unlikely to affect his plans significantly, howveer. Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy will play at full-back, with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi at centre-back. Expect City's back four to push up and compress the play, squeezing Sunderland back into their own half.
Fernandinho will play a crucial role in midfield, playing the holding role and allowing the four attacking midfielders to scamper forward to support Aguero, and Sunderland must look to give him something to think about in a defensive sense - Fernandinho can find himself outnumbered at defensive transitions, and City's defenders have a habit of wandering forward to close down opponents too quickly.
Vincent Kompany is available, but it's not entirely clear whether Guardiola rates City's club captain, and he may be forced to watch from the bench.
Ultimately it's difficult to see how Sunderland can survive here. City's attacking line-up looks absolutely rampant, and against a defence that has conceded six goals in their last two outings, City could rack up a heavy victory. Sunderland leave too many spaces between their defenders, and City are excellent at exploiting those gaps.
I'm backing a heavy away win. "Another Other Away Win" in "Correct Score" covers City scoring four goals or more, and I think there's a very decent possibility of that, so 4.03/1 is very tempting indeed.