This is make-or-break time for Manchester City, who are trailing United at the top of the table by three points with games running out.
The Citizens seem to have lost some of their concentration over the last couple of games and will be very desperate to register a win in this game. They only managed to draw their last game against Stoke and the two lost points allowed United to stretch their lead at the top of the table. Unfortunately for Mancini's men, Sunderland will be motivated by the fact that they are one of only four teams to have beaten City, in the league, this season.
Furthermore, City will be without leading scorer Sergio Aguero for this game. They will be buoyed by the fact that they have a hundred percent record at the Etihad this season.
Meanwhile, Sunderland have done fairly well this season, by their usual standards. The main objective right now will be to consolidate their league position. The recent loss against Everton, in the FA Cup quarter-finals, may however prey on their minds. Finally, the Black Cats have lost their last seven league games at the Etihad.
Manchester City (Probable, 4-4-1-1): Hart; Richards, Kompany (doubtful), K Touré, Clichy; Barry, Y Touré; Silva, Balotelli, Milner; Dzeko
Sunderland (Probable, 4-4-2): Mignolet; Bardsley, Kyrgiakos, Turner, Colback; Larsson, Gardner, Vaughan, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner.