Capital One Cup 2014: Final Prediction for Manchester City vs. Sunderland

Danny Collins@@dannycollins89Featured ColumnistMarch 2, 2014

Sunderland's Adam Johnson, left, celebrates his goal with his teammates during their English Premier League soccer match against Stoke City at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Manchester City will seek some redemption for last year's FA Cup final defeat to Wigan Athletic when they face Sunderland in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley tomorrow. 

Last year's defeat saw manager Roberto Mancini sacked two days later, but Manuel Pellegrini's side has been in such excellent form this season that the Chilean will face no such concerns.

Let's take a look at how we think the action will pan out at Wembley.

Capital One Cup Final Prediction
Manchester City3-1Sunderland
Sergio Aguero (2)Johnson
Yaya Toure
BBC Sport

The odds are stacked firmly against Gus Poyet's Sunderland side. Manchester City have scored 19 goals in their five games on the way to the final, conceding only one to Leicester City

By contrast, this will be Sunderland's first visit to the new Wembley; a win would bring their first silverware since the 1973 FA Cup. That's not the mention that the Black Cats currently sit in the Premier League relegation zone. 

But the Wearside club should not be written off. Sunderland have become something of a "bogey" club for Manchester City. Earlier this season they prevailed 1-0 at the Stadium of Light thanks to a Phil Bardsley goal. 

And they've got to the final the hard way. Victories over Chelsea and Manchester United means that Poyet's men will be battle-hardened come kick-off.

Former City midfielder Adam Johnson has been in scintillating form this season, and it will be through the wide man that Sunderland's attacking threat will have to come. Johnson is pushing for a place in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, but Johnson found it hard to find his best form at Manchester City, as reported by The Guardian's Ewan Murray.

Yes, I was disappointed the way it ended. I wanted to go and play more games. I was not asking to play every week – I knew I couldn't – I just asked to play one in four.

It was as simple as that. I did not mind playing once every couple of weeks. It just wasn't a fair share. I was not expecting to play every minute of every game and I always knew that. It was just more the fact that it wasn't getting shared around enough. So I wanted to play somewhere I could play week in, week out and feel more loved.

Unfortunately for Sunderland, Johnson's form will not be enough to subdue a City side that have looked unbeatable at times this season. 

Sergio Aguero is welcomed back into Pellegrini's side following five matches on the sideline with a hamstring injury, as per BBC Sport

Jon Super/Associated Press

Not that City are dependent on their 15-goal Argentine star. Yaya Toure has been in imperious form this term, bagging 13 Premier League goals of his own. But the goals are purely an added extra for this midfield general. 

The Ivorian has bossed City's midfield this season, rampaging forward when needed and laying the foundation for midfield wizard David Silva to create goals for a formidable front line of Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo and Aguero. 

City captain Vincent Kompany is certainly looking forward to the clash, as he told his Twitter followers:

There are few teams in world football that can contain City's attacking prowess.

Sunderland will not stop them scoring, but they may well give the 2011-12 Premier League champions a scare. Count on Johnson being the man who leads the Sunderland charge against his former side. 

Unfortunately for the Stadium of Light faithful, it will not be enough to roll back the City waves.


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