O'Neill: AJ to show City

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson had an indifferent spell with Manchester City. Photo: PA

Manchester City will come up against a familiar face when they attempt to bounce back from their Champions League disappointment this weekend.

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.