Man City vs Wolves: The Premier League champions are in need of a win at the Etihad this evening as they look to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to four points.
Man City vs Wolves preview
Manchester City return to Premier League action on the back of two emphatic cup wins over Rotherham and Burton in which they scored an outrageous 16 goals.
Pep Guardiola’s men are now on a run of four straight wins to put their three Premier League defeats in December behind them. The most valuable victory being the 2-1 win over Liverpool to add fuel to the title race.
The return of influential playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has no doubt been a crucial factor after the Belgian missed 19 games earlier in the season due to a ligament problem.
But Guardiola’s biggest concern remains at the back, with their last clean sheet before Rotherham and Burton coming back in November. City have conceded 16 in the 11 games since.
Wolves also travel to the Etihad full of confidence after knocking Liverpool out of the FA Cup last week, despite boss Nuno making five changes to his starting XI.
It’s the latest in a long list of impressive results against the top six for a promoted side, having beaten Tottenham and Chelsea last month and holding Manchester United, City and Arsenal to draws. On-loan striker Raul Jimenez has been crucial to that, scoring in the three wins and providing a further two assists.
Nuno runs a tight ship at Wolves and his back-three of Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady and Willy Boly have been superb all season. For a team just promoted last season, it’s remarkable that they have shipped just 25 goals in 21 games – the lowest return outside the top four.
Man City vs Wolves team news
Guardiola could recall leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero (illness) and captain Vincent Kompany (muscle) to his starting line-up after the pair missed both FA Cup and Carabao Cup games.
City midfielder Fernandinho, who has had injury concerns in recent weeks, was rested for both ties but should also return against Wolves.
Only left-back Benjamin Mendy has been ruled out.
Wolves head coach Nuno is expected to welcome back the likes of wing-back Matt Doherty and goalkeeper Rui Patricio after making a host of changes against Liverpool.
Wolves forward Diogo Jota made his return from a hamstring injury against the Reds and is in line to make his first Premier League appearance since 15 December.
Man City vs Wolves form
Last six competitive fixtures
Man City: WWWWLL
Man City vs Wolves head-to-head
Wolves remarkably held City to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Molineux back in August despite having just 29% of the possession.
Nuno also guided his side to a goalless draw at the Eithad after 120 minutes last season before being knocked out of the Carabao Cup fourth round on penalties.
Man City vs Wolves prediction
The champions are 2/11 favourites and rightly so, but I think this game will be more competitive than the odds suggest. The visitors should find a way through City’s leaky defence. Man City to beat Wolves and both teams to score can be backed at 9/5 with Novibet, or just both teams to score on its own is at 13/10.