Manchester City will attempt to regain its swagger at Etihad Stadium this weekend when it plays host to Sunderland.
Despite their recent struggles, Roberto Mancini's Blues are within striking distance atop the Premier League table, just four points behind Chelsea coming into the weekend.
After a disappointing draw against Dortmund earlier in the week, Mancini has made several changes to his squad in preparation for Saturday's vital matchup in Eastlands.
Here is everything you will need to catch Saturday's EPL clash before it ends.
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
When: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Start Time: 7:45 a.m. ET
Live Streaming: ESPN3.com
What to Watch For
Any time Mario Balotelli makes his way onto the pitch for Manchester City, it's must-see television.
The 22-year-old Italian striker has two goals in his last three appearances for the defending EPL champions, and even scored in Wednesday's draw against Dortmund. Unfortunately for Balotelli, he has yet to score in an EPL matchup this season.
Perhaps Saturday's showdown with Sunderland will set the stage for Balotelli's first Premier League goal this year. He's set to start for the Blues at home and will provide a mighty boost up front for Mancini.
Sunderland has only allowed four goals in five Premier League matches coming into this weekend, which is half what Manchester City has conceded through its first six matches.
Look for the visiting side to try to ride a strong defensive performance to a draw on Saturday. Sunderland's back four will consist of Danny Rose, Craig Gardner, John O'Shea and Carlos Jimenez Cuellar.
Simon Mignolet will start in goal for Sunderland. He made three saves in the club's 1-0 shutout win over Wigan in his last EPL appearance. Sunderland hasn't allowed a goal since September 22, but that could change in a hurry as it faces one of the world's most dynamic attacks in Manchester City.
If Sunderland's defense can't hold up then it will likely suffer its first loss of the EPL season. Martin O'Neill's side has won once and recorded four draws in five matches this season against Premier League competition.
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