Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic (knee) has joined the club's injury list. The Serbian is not expected to be out long but misses Wednesday's contest at the Etihad Stadium along with striker Sergio Aguero (hamstring), playmaker Samir Nasri (knee) and midfielders Fernandinho and Javi Garcia (muscle injuries). Key midfielder Yaya Toure is available after escaping retrospective punishment following an off-the-ball incident involving Norwich's Ricky van Wolfswinkel last weekend.
Wes Brown will miss out due to suspension. The 34-year-old central defender will sit out both Wednesday's visit to the Etihad Stadium and Saturday's FA Cup fifth round tie against Southampton after being sent off for the second time this season - a further red card was later rescinded in November - in the 2-0 home defeat by Hull at the weekend. January signing Santiago Vergini is likely to deputise, while fellow defender Carlos Cuellar (hip) and striker Steven Fletcher (Achilles) continue to work their way back to fitness, along with goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder), who remains on the long-term casualty list.
Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City): "It is normal that all teams will drop points but don't forget from the last 10 games we have taken 25 points from a possible 30. Maybe we lost the game against Chelsea and have drawn against Norwich but all the teams in the bottom half of the table will take points off other teams in the second half of the season and for me this situation is normal. The same teams who were favourites three weeks ago, remain the favourites. It is a very close Premier League and I think Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham will all be in a fight until the end."
Guy Poyet (Sunderland): "Our away form has been very important - we've been very good away from home of late, probably one of the best. No doubt that has helped the players mentally. It's going to be another test, but we are still good, still getting better. We are going to have to defend at periods in the game because of the quality of the opposition. At the same time we need to be dominant on the ball. Without any doubt, it's going to be physical - we will need to be in good shape - but mentally we must be strong enough to go and try, as much as we can, to control the game. We can't just let them come forward again and again."
Defeat by Chelsea in their last match at the Etihad Stadium ended a run of 11 consecutive home wins for Man City and 61 Barclays Premier League games without failing to score on home turf.
The Black Cats have kept four clean sheets in their last six Barclays Premier League away matches.
Manchester City have not lost back to back Premier League home games since December 2008.
The Citizens have only kept one clean sheet in their last five Premier League home matches, shipping seven goals in total during this run.
Sunderland have gone six on the road without defeat in the Premier League (W3 D3 L0) - this after winning just one point in their eight PL away games (D1 L7) prior to this run.
Man City have won just two of the last eight Premier League meetings with Sunderland (W2 D2 L4), with all four of Sunderland’s victories being 1-0 wins.
James Milner has scored five goals against Sunderland in the Premier League; more than against any other Premier League opponent. This includes his first ever goal in the competition.
Former Man City man Adam Johnson has had a hand in eight goals so far in 2014 in the Premier League (six goals, two assists); more than any other player.
Since the start of their title winning season in 2011-12, Manchester City have conceded only four goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League games.
Manchester City have used just 23 players in the Premier League this season; fewer than any other side.
Manchester City (2/11) Sunderland (18/1) Draw (7/1)