Adam Johnson will look to kick-start his Sunderland career against his former club when he returns to the Etihad Stadium for the first time since his summer move in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.
The England winger was deemed surplus to requirements by City boss Roberto Mancini but his move back to his native north-east has been undermined by a thigh injury.
The 25-year-old returned to action last week and Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill expects he will be desperate to show his former employers, who have endured a patchy start to the new season, what they let go.
"It's a big game for him. I was asked if he has a point to prove, and I think yes, he would have. We all have points to prove," O'Neill said.
"For him going back there, I think he will relish it. I hope we get him into the game - sometimes it's not his own fault and maybe it's something we can improve on ourselves.
"But I am hoping he does well against his old team, and that he comes up big in the game."
Both City and Sunderland are unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League this season but the champions' form has come under the spotlight as they still await a first clean sheet.
Mancini's men were indebted to goalkeeper Joe Hart's heroics against Borussia Dortmund in midweek as a late Mario Balotelli penalty ensured they escaped with a barely-deserved 1-1 draw in Europe.
Despite City's apparent problems they are still level on points with Manchester rivals United, who face a tough trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
The Red Devils fell to a 3-2 home defeat against Tottenham last weekend and face a defensive crisis that could force unheralded 21-year-old Scott Wootton into the fray.
Wootton made his first United start against the Magpies in the 2-1 Capital One Cup win last week and, after replacing the injured Jonny Evans late in the midweek trip to CFR Cluj, could be relied upon again.
"The last week or so has been amazing," he said.
"To make my competitive debut in the League Cup and then to come on and play in the Champions League is a great feeling. It's something I'm made up with.
"It is always the way. As a young player, obviously you don't wish injuries on someone, but that's how you might get your chance."
Leaders Chelsea will look to extend their advantage at the top when they host lowly Norwich at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues are three points clear of closest challengers Everton who travel to Wigan.
Arsenal go to West Ham two points behind their London rivals, Swansea host Reading in a replay of the 2011 npower Championship play-off final while in-form West Brom host last-placed QPR.
On Sunday, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will look to get his first league win at Anfield when the Reds welcome Stoke.
Tottenham will look to build on their Old Trafford success when Aston Villa come calling while Fulham travel to Southampton.
Saturday's Premier League Fixtures
Man City vs Sunderland
Chelsea vs Norwich
Wigan vs Everton
West Brom vs QPR
Swansea vs Reading
West Ham vs Arsenal
Sunday's Premier League Fixtures
Southampton vs Fulham
Tottenham vs Aston Villa
Liverpool vs Stoke
Newcastle vs Man United