Sunderland boss Poyet out to take advantage of Man City weaknesses

Injury doubt Ondrej Celustka
Injury doubt Ondrej Celustka
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GUS POYET says Sunderland must look to take advantage of Manchester City’s travel sickness this weekend.

Title hopefuls City boast a 100 per cent record at the Etihad Stadium this season and thumped seven goals past third-bottom Norwich in last weekend’s home encounter.

But Manuel Pellegrini’s side have won just one of five Premier League games on the road, including defeats at Cardiff and Aston Villa, and conceded nine times in the process.

Poyet believes City have “weaknesses” away from home which Sunderland can exploit, as he looks to secure a third successive Stadium of Light win after victories over Newcastle and, in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup success, Southampton.

“Of course, it is going to be totally different from Southampton on Sunday,” said Poyet.

“But we need to concentrate on us, learn quickly about the opposition and then try to play our game.

“I’m sure, because it’s happened already this year, that Man City have a few weaknesses.

“I hope I can find a few and try to take advantage.

“To win my first two home games is not bad at all – one against our biggest rivals and the other to make the cup quarter-finals.

“That’s not bad for a situation which looks terrible from the outside.

“So we need to believe we can win again against City.”

Sunderland are continuing to assess injuries to Emanuele Giaccherini (back) and Ondrej Celustka (ankle), with both doubts to face City, particularly the on-loan Czech full-back.

The two internationals were recalled to the starting XI against Southampton as part of seven changes to the side which lost at Hull in the Premier League last weekend.

But Poyet believes the tinkering has been beneficial for the squad, with the likes of Giaccherini and Craig Gardner making their first appearances since the head coach’s maiden game in charge at Swansea.

“Sometimes, it’s a risk to make that many changes,” added Poyet.

“But we had plenty of internationals, like Giaccherini who was desperate to play.

“We brought Wes Brown on too, who has won the Premier League.

“These are big, big players, it’s not like we put a weakened team on the pitch.

“I know Craig Gardner will be delighted because he was a little bit down after playing the first game and then not featuring in the next two.

“It’s good for the group and everybody now feels part of it.”

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