Fabio Borini has challenged Sunderland to expose the flaws in Pep Guardiola's Manchester City defence.
City head for the Stadium of Light on Sunday sitting third in the table and 11 points adrift of runaway leaders Chelsea.
By contrast, the Black Cats remain rooted in bottom spot and in desperate need of a victory.
While the odds may be heavily stacked against them this time around, Borini is confident there are weaknesses to be exploited.
He told the club's official website: "They seem a little shaky at the back because of the way Guardiola wants them to play - but don't take that as a criticism because that's the way he's won titles in the past.
"He has his philosophy and that won't change this weekend, so we have to take advantage of that in any way we can.
"We need to frustrate them and if that means we have to be defensive, then so be it because we have to stop their influence on the game."
Borini added: "We know we don't have to play brilliant football to stay up, but confidence is key in modern football and you saw what Leicester did last season when they had it, so we have to stay strong."
Cash turnstiles on Sunday afternoon:
Sunderland have announced cash turnstiles will be in operation on Sunday when the Black Cats host Manchester City.
A club statement read: "Manchester City visit the Stadium of Light on Sunday 5 March in a 4pm kick-off and season card holders can buy two tickets for the game for family members or friends for just £10 each.
"Standard ticket prices for the games start from £27 for adults, £23 for over 65s and £12 for under 16s.
"Cash turnstiles will be in operation, with turnstiles 13 and 14 open from 2.30pm, admission is priced at £35."
See the club website for full ticket details
Pablo Zabaleta backs City keeper:
Claudio Bravo, who has recently been dropped for Willy Caballero, endured the indignity of being taunted by his own fans in City's FA Cup fifth-round replay victory over Huddersfield on Wednesday.
The Chilean, playing for just the second time in seven games, was sarcastically applauded and cheered after making a save during the 5-1 triumph at the Etihad Stadium.
Supporters' disdain had been fuelled by an early error from the 33-year-old as he allowed a saveable Harry Bunn shot to pass under his body and give the Sky Bet Championship side a surprise lead.
That merely continued a theme after Bravo conceded from all six of the shots he faced in successive games against Everton and Tottenham in January.
Those performances cost Bravo, who controversially replaced Joe Hart earlier this season, his place in the side, with Caballero taking over until manager Pep Guardiola's usual domestic cup rotation policy saw him return.
Caballero is expected to be in goal at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
Defender Zabaleta said: "We know Claudio. It's not easy when you come to England - it's a different league.
"We are a team, we support each other. We know exactly what he can do for the team and that's it.
"We know how good he is and sometimes it is just about confidence.
"His distribution with the ball was really good."