Pep Guardiola again rules out late Manchester City title charge

City, who climbed back into third place as a result of their win, were second best before Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with his fifth goal in three games three minutes from the break, and Leroy Sane made sure with a second after 59 minutes.

Kickoff is set for 3.30pm BST.

But, after the Sunderland win, Guardiola revealed he will shoehorn both strikers into his team for an assault on the Premier League. Tottenham, who have played a game more, are second with 56 points.

Moyes has seen City score 10 goals in the two recent games where he has paid a personal check on Guardiola's side and the Scot added: "There are one or two defensive weaknesses we feel we might be able to exploit".

Besides tracking down Premier League leaders Chelsea, the Citizens remain in the hunt for silverware on other fronts including the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Sunderland manager David Moyes insisted his team could not be faulted for effort, saying: "They gave everything". [But] then you expect someone who proclaims he is a genius in football to go in and sort it out but I don't think they will.

Captain Vincent Kompany and Aleksandar Kolarov could also be in contention to feature despite missing the club's 5-1 victory against Huddersfield in mid-week.

The good news for Sunderland is that Papy Djilobodji is back after a ban and should be in the line-up, however, Jason Denayer will be ineligible for the match with City being his parent club.

"Manchester City keep you under that much pressure that when you do get it you have to be courageous enough to play".

The Wearsiders are in serious relegation danger after winning just one of their last nine league games but Guardiola, whose side are in the thick of a tight battle for a top four place, is warning against complacency. But now, of course, we are in a position when you arrive in March and April, every game if you win, you stay; if you lose, you are out. "We scored two goals and we could have scored more so we are happy", he said.

"They are doing everything they can in their training and giving everything in their games, and if we keep doing that we'll have a great chance".

  • Lila Blake