Raheem Sterling is plotting the perfect Christmas present for home supporters at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow.
The 21-year old has kept a close eye on Sunderland this season and has warned that City will have to be at their best to avoid being the latest team to succumb to a surprise result in this most unpredictable of Premier League seasons.
“I’ve seen quite a few of their games and they’ve given a lot in the games,” Sterling said.
“Sometimes when the luck isn’t with you it’s really hard but it should be a good game.
“You can see the job Sam Allardyce has done with his teams in the past. His players know exactly what he wants. He’s no different at Sunderland.
“Hopefully it doesn’t go against us on Saturday but hopefully they can stay up by keep winning games. The Premier League’s been very unpredictable as you’ve seen from our last few games.
“Going into this game our entire focus is on winning the game and that’s what we’re going out to do. It’s down to our mentality, our willingness and our togetherness on the day. I think we can win the game if we play the football we know we can.”
Sterling has scored eight goals in 21 appearances for City so far this season and the youngster has revealed that he’s revelling in playing alongside world class talents, both in training and in games.
The England international is learning every day and described it as “an honour” to be part of this squad.
“Sergio is a world class player - he’s the sort of player you watch before you join the club and it’s just a great feeling to play alongside someone like that and learn a lot from him.
“Not just Sergio but David, Kevin and Yaya. There are a lot of players you can definitely learn off and help my sort of game. It’s an honour to be training with them every day and learning from them.
“You can look around the dressing room and see players that have achieved in major tournaments. David who has won the World Cup, Sergio who has played in a World Cup Final and Yaya who has won African Player of the Year for a number of years.
“They’re all players who can grab a team by the hand and win games for your football club.
“There are leaders in every position – a lot of players to look to who have had a really good career so I’m just happy to be amongst them and learning every day.”
City take on Sunderland on Saturday six points off Leicester at the table summit and four points behind Arsenal in second.
It’s a narrow margin coming up to the half-way point in the season and Raheem is of the opinion that anything can happen.
Sterling added: “It’s a very close league at this moment in time.
“You can’t really rule anyone out. Leicester are doing very well and Arsenal have been terrific as well. And then there’s us who will be challenging for the title come the end of the season.
“We’ve got an unbelievable team. Depth in every position. But the Premier League is difficult. No-one is guaranteed a win at any ground. You have to go out there and graft.
“We just have to make sure our mentality is right. I think we’re preparing really well, the results have just been unfortunate in our last couple of games but we’ll start picking up.”