Sunderland at home is the next three-point token handed to Manchester City in an especially friendly festive fixture programme, but just like last time against Burnley, this valuable opportunity shall be squandered.
The Citizens are as short as 1/4 to snare the spoils at the expense of Gus Poyet’s men, who assume enormous 9/1 underdog status ahead of their trans-Pennine expedition, next to the 5/1-rated draw.
Manuel Pellegrini’s troops confirmed their susceptibility to a lapse in drawing 2-2 with the Clarets when they last took to the field and the capable travelling Black Cats can at least claim a similar result at the Etihad, making the 29/10 about an away win or draw double chance punt the way to go.
Open an account at bwin.com this very day and collect a £30 free bet balance-boosting welcome bonus.
Wager it on the above outcome and land an £87 profit if the Wearsiders avoid defeat.
Here’s why they will:
Few defences in the land travel as well as Sunderland’s.
With just 12 goals shipped, only Aston Villa, Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton have a sterner road rearguard.
Had they not leaked eight in their St Mary’s debacle, the Black Cats would be leading the way in this regard by quite some margin.
Since being thumped on the south coast, they’ve kept four clean sheets from five, all of them falling in the quartet of collisions that preceded this one.
Sunderland boast a better record than most against this foe.
Man City have notoriously struggled on trips to the Stadium of Light in recent seasons (this one aside, obviously), but the north-east outfit have performed admirably at the Etihad on occasion.
They drew 2-2 here last season and bagged a 3-3 in 2012/13, meaning they’ve ended seven of their last 11 meetings with the Premier League champions undefeated.
Burnley weren’t the first side this season to take advantage of the Citizens’ lackadaisical tendencies on the homestead.
Stoke, Newcastle and CSKA Moscow are among those to have arrived at the Man City stronghold with expectation weighted heavily in favour of the hosts, yet all three fled having plundered a win.
Bayern Munchen, Chelsea and Swansea are among the opponents they’ve allowed into the lead at base camp too, suggesting they’re far from formidable on their own patch.