With severe weather conditions causing damage across large parts of England, including the north-west city of Manchester, officials said Wednesday's match was being postponed because of "unsafe" conditions.

Meanwhile in nearby Liverpool, Everton's Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park also fell victim to the weather.

A tweet from Greater Manchester police said: "GAME OFF - Manchester City's V Sunderland has been called off because conditions are deemed 'unsafe'. �MCFC"

City captain Vincent Kompany also told his Twitter followers the game had been called off, saying: "Game's called off! Make sure you get yourselves home and be safe, weather is terrible! #mcfc"

Following leaders Chelsea's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, City -- three points off top spot -- could have replaced the Blues at the top of the table had they beaten relegation-threatened Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium and other results gone in their favour.

However, Chelsea could still find themselves dropping down the table if second-placed Arsenal, currently two points adrift, defeat visitors Manchester United in their Wednesday match at the north London club's Emirates Stadium.

The City-Stoke match will now have to be re-arranged for later in the season, adding to the fixture congestion already confronting a City side still involved in four competitions.

It was postponed after Britain's Met Office issued an amber warning for severe winds for Greater Manchester.

An even higher red alert warning -- the highest possible -- was issued for other parts of the north-west including Merseyside, where Everton, just outside the Champions League places in sixth position, were due to take on a Palace side climbing away from the relegation zone under manager Tony Pulis.

However, Everton said on their Twitter feed: "Tonight's game has been called off due to building damage which has led to safety concerns."

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Midlands club Stoke said their match against Swansea, due to kick-off at 7.45pm had been delayed 15 minutes until 8pm (2000GMT) because of "traffic issues" near the Britannia Stadium.