IT is only the small matter of one of the wealthiest clubs on the planet that provides our opposition when Manchester City turn up on Sunday.
With no signs of their owners’ oil money drying up, City have been able to purchase some of the world’s top players and assemble a squad that has brought depth and quality.
They seem to have at least two international class players competing for every position.
And because of this, they are always one of the favourites for every competition they’re involved in.
Saying that, they’ve struggled for a result when they’ve come to Wearside in the last few years, as Sunderland have raised their game and played to the maximum to deny City.
This is what needs to happen again on Sunday and with the memory of the last Premier League game we saw at the Stadium of Light still fresh, this should help in that respect.
I expect City will have a lot of the ball on Sunday, so Sunderland must prepare for a game of closing down and chasing.
But as we know, having most of the possession doesn’t mean everything.
In many ways, Sunderland might be forced to play like the away team in this game, relying on counter-attacks and playing on the break.
It’s important though that we don’t build City up to be better than they are.
Their away record is average, considering their quality and they’ve lost at places like Cardiff and Aston Villa.
Of course they have many match-winners and players that can turn a game on its head but to me the man who makes City tick is Yaya Toure and if he plays well, City play well.
Jack Colback may well be the man in direct opposition to Toure and on appearances alone it’s a total mismatch.
Toure has the advantage in both height and weight but Colback is a competitor and a man in form and he has frustrated Toure when he has faced him in the past.
There’s no doubt this will be an extremely difficult game for Sunderland this weekend and I would probably take a draw now but we have beaten them in the past when unfancied to do so and the players must have the belief they can do it again.