While a visit to the home of the Premier League champions is not something that the Black Cats would relish, many pundits believe that Man City's recent performances should give the away side hope of picking up a positive result here.
88 minBOOKING! Another Sunderland player has his name taken. This time it's Gardner for a trip on Kolarov just outside the area.
85 minSUBSTITUTION: Defensive change from Mancini as Tevez is rested and Gael Clichy comes on.
83 minSUBSTITUTION: Another former Man United player, Frazier Campbell, comes on for Sunderland in place of Sessegnon.
81 minBOOKING! Sunderland's Colback goes into the book for a mistimed sliding challenge on Zabaleta.
79 minCHANCE! Our first look at Fletcher in a long while ends with him drilling a shot from 20 yards out straight at Hart. Meat and drink for the England keeper.
76 minRichards is playing more like a centre-forward at the moment. He seems determined to eventually get the better of Mignolet!
73 minSAVE! Mignolet and Richards seem to be having their own personal duel at the moment. For the third time in this half City defender Richards is denied by the Sunderland goalkeeper.
71 minCHANCE! What a game we've got at the minute. Sunderland go up the other end and Hart does well to claw McClean's header off the line.
70 minOFF THE BAR! So close for Silva! Tevez draws out goalkeeper Mignolet, before cutting the ball back to Silva. The Spanish international dinks the ball over everybody in the penalty area, but the ball cannons to safety off the crossbar.
69 minCHANCE! Argentines Aguero and Tevez link for the latter, who drags an effort from the right of the penalty area just wide of the target.
68 minSUBSTITUTION: An unhappy return for Johnson, who appears to be ill, ends as he is replaced by former Man United striker Louis Saha. Predictably, the Frenchman is jeered as he enters the pitch.
66 minCity are now in complete control of this encounter. It could prove to be a long 20 minutes or so for the Black Cats.
62 minIncidentally, that Aguero goal is the first he has scored at the Etihad since he won City the title against Queens Park Rangers on the final day of last season.
61 minSUBSTITUTION: A change for Sunderland after that goal sees Rose, who is suffering with a cut to his eye, replaced by David Vaughan.
60 minWhat a game Kolarov is having here. He whips in a cross for substitute Aguero, who flicks the ball into the roof of the net. It's a long way back for Sunderland now.
58 minSAVE! Richards is again denied from close range as his looping header is held by Mignolet. The defender produced a leap that a high-jumper would be proud of there!
57 minAnd we've just seen the bad side of Balotelli again. He barely acknowledges Aguero before walking straight down the tunnel. There was no sign of an injury so it appears that toys have been thrown out the pram once again.
56 minSUBSTITUTION: And that is Balotelli's last involvement. The young striker is replaced by Aguero.
55 minCHANCE! Kolarov again involved as his low cross almost picks out Balotelli, but the Italian cannot stretch far enough and the ball goes wide of the target.
53 minSome brilliant last-ditch defending from goalscorer Kolarov prevents Johnson from going one-on-one with Hart. The visitors have started the second half brightly.
50 minOFF THE LINE! It looks as though Richards has put City 2-0 up when he pokes the ball towards the goal but Rose stoops on the line to head clear. Big escape for the away side.
48 minCHANCE! Unlucky for Sunderland as Larsson picks out Fletcher at the back post, who in turns volleys goalwards. However, Richards gets in a block and Larsson fires over the rebound. Meanwhile, up the other end Toure stings the palms of Mignolet.
1.49pmTrailing Sunderland get the second half underway...
1.48pmMeanwhile, Sunderland have had 43% of the ball and just three shots at goal.
1.47pmCity have had 57% of the possession, nine shots (four on target) and committed eight fouls.
1.45pmHere's a few stats for you from that opening 45 minutes before the second half gets underway...
45 minTwo minutes of stoppage time to be played...
43 minJust seen footage of Roberto Mancini. The City boss is looking extremely unhappy at the moment. Despite leading 1-0, his side may be in for some stern words at the break.
38 minCHANCE! First shot on target for the away side and Fletcher. The Scot's goalward drive is deflected and the ball is easily claimed by Hart.
37 minCHANCE! Another City sight of goal goes begging. Again it's Tevez who spurns the chance, sending a bouncing volley off target.
35 minSunderland are still seeing a lot of the ball at the moment. However, they're still yet to work Hart in the City goal.
30 minCHANCE! Some really good defending by Gardner prevents City going 2-0 up as the midfielder hacks clear Milner's cross. Balotelli was behind and would have surely tapped the ball into the net.
28 minAn injury problem for Sunderland as McClean goes down under a challenge from Richards. The Irish winger looks to be winded so he should be okay to continue.
24 min...This time the wall does its job as Kolarov's powerful drive strikes Larsson.
23 minAnother opportunity for City coming up as Gardner accidentally kicks Balotelli in the face. City now have a free-kick 20 yards from goal...
22 minDespite those two chances, Sunderland are actually seeing more of the ball at the moment. Having said that, they are yet to test Hart in the home goal.
20 minDOUBLE CHANCE! City's Argentine duo Tevez and Zabaleta go very close. First full-back Zabaleta sees his close-range shot blocked by Mignolet, before Tevez drags the rebound just wide.
17 minCHANCE! Balotelli's first involvement of the match sees him fire just over Mignolet's bar from 25 yards out. The Italian has been unusually quiet so far.
14 minBut the Swede's ball in is poor and McLean's pass back to him sees him flagged offside. Apart from that, have to say that Sunderland have reacted well to going a goal behind.
13 minLarsson's effort is headed behind by Barry. Another corner...
12 minCorner to Sunderland as Zabaleta heads clear with Fletcher piling on the pressure...
11 minCHANCE! Johnson's free-kick is only half cleared and the ball drops to Sessegnon. The attacking midfielder takes an instant shot, which flies just over Joe Hart's crossbar.
10 minChance for Sunderland as they win a free-kick 30 yards from goal wide out on the right...
7 minThat is just what the doctor ordered where City are concerned. It seems like a real weight has been lifted of their shoulders on the back of that Dortmund performance.
5 minIt's just got a little bit worse for Cuellar and Sunderland. From the resultant free-kick Kolarov whips the ball over the wall and beyond the dive of Simon Mignolet in the away goal. Awful start for Sunderland.
12.42pmRight, the players are out and the handshakes have been completed. The camera are focusing a lot on Sunderland winger Adam Johnson, who is making a swift return to the Etihad following his summer move to the North East.
12.41pmAccording to Sports Mole's very own Danielle Joynson it won't be a positive result for the Mackems. She's gone for City to win 2-0.
12.39pmAlthough I'm not sure my typing fingers would agree with that!!
12.38pmAs mentioned above, Sunderland came oh so close to breaking that record last season. They led City 3-1 with five minutes to go, but Mancini's men battled back to claim a late point. The same again today would do us, wouldn't it?!
12.34pmBut here is a statistic that should boost Man City supporters. Sunderland have not won in their last 26 visits to Manchester - a run that stretches back 31 years.
12.30pmTurning attention back to Man City and their record so far this season. It's at the back we're they have really struggled this season. They are yet to keep a clean sheet in any match. It's a stark contrast to last season when they were watertight.
12.26pmGood news for Sunderland fans - Steven Fletcher starts. The Scottish striker has scored ALL of their goals in the Premier League this season. He will probably fancy his chances against Richards, who is making his first start of the season.
12.24pmWell, well, well. Mr Mancini has been a busy man. He's made seven changes to his starting lineup. The likes of Sergio Aguero and Micah Richards drop out, while Micah Richards and Carlos Tevez come in.
12.23pmMan City X1: Hart; Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov; Milner, Barry, Y. Toure, Silva; Balotelli, Tevez
12.22pmWell, without further ado, let's bring you some team news from the Etihad...
12.20pmAfternoon all. Not a bad start to the weekend then as the Premier League champions are in action against an unbeaten Sunderland.