Rowell Report: Sunderland can still be City’s bogey side

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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THE last thing you need after you’ve played the best team in the league is to play the second best team straight away.

But that’s what Sunderland have to do tomorrow night against Manchester City.

We’ve had some great battles against City over recent years, and so often Sunderland have raised their game against them, especially at home.

Sunderland are not the bogey team for many Premier League clubs, but you could make the case that we are when it comes to Man City, with four consecutive wins over them at the Stadium of Light, all by the same 1-0 scoreline.

That sequence of results has got to change sometime, but the morale-boosting draw against Chelsea, should give the players the belief they can do it again.

City come to the Stadium of Light on the back of an excellent three goal win at Southampton, where they had a man sent off, but still won comfortably anyway.

Their top performer this season, Sergio Aguero, surprisingly didn’t get on the scoresheet in that win, but he will be the main danger so Sunderland’s defenders will have to deal with him in the same impressive way they did with Diego Costa.

If there’s a criticism of City this season, it’s been an over-reliance on Aguero, but with players like Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Frank Lampard, they have more threats than just one man.

Sunderland played City three times last season and every game was memorable for different reasons.

Beating City at home and holding them to a draw at the Etihad gave us four valuable points in the successful fight against the drop.

Then there was a thrilling Capital One Cup final, and if tomorrow’s night’s game has just half the drama of those three, then we all could be in for a treat.