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Sunderland v Manchester City

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Fletcher: Main threat for Sunderland

Fletcher: Main threat for Sunderland

Sunderland will be looking to put more distance between themselves and the drop zone when they host title-chasing Manchester City on Boxing Day.

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The Wearsiders will be keen to build on their 1-0 win at Southampton which took them four points clear of the relegation zone.

That win came at a cost as Adam Johnson came off injured, and Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill is not sure when the winger will return to action.

Meanwhile, O'Neill is still without Lee Cattermole (knee) and Wes Brown (hamstring), while he will be hoping Steven Fletcher can continue to bang in the goals - the striker has scored eight goals so far this season.

Roberto Mancini's side had to wait until injury-time, as Gareth Barry headed the winner against a stubborn Reading side in their last game.

Good news for Mancini is that Vincent Kompany could make a return to the starting line-up, after he was left on the bench in City's last game as a precaution.

Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy are hoping to overcome minor knocks, while Mario Balotelli is also in line to make a return to the first team.

The trio of Samir Nasri (hamstring), Micah Richards (knee) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring) remained sidelined though.

Posted: 24/12/12 12:20

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