Monday, May 27, 2024

Guardiola says Man City must prove themselves all over again in title race

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 May 2024

22 Views

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s players cannot dine out on their past achievements and must prove themselves all over again in their last four games of the Premier League season, starting against Wolves on Saturday.

The title race remains in City’s hands despite Arsenal leading the way by a single point, with Guardiola’s men possessing a game in hand as they chase a fourth successive crown.

After welcoming Wolves to the Etihad Stadium, they face back-to-back trips to London to take on Fulham and Tottenham, then host West Ham on the final day.

Guardiola says City – who should have Ederson, Ruben Dias and Phil Foden back on Saturday – cannot assume this title rice will go the same way as others.

“We have to prove it tomorrow against Wolves and then in the next games,” Guardiola said.

“We know we have to win and get all 12 points, otherwise it will be difficult because Arsenal are so strong and so consistent. It’s difficult to drop points.

“It depends on us. It’s just tomorrow and then three games in one week, no more complicated than that to analyse.

“I would love to say what we have done in the past is going to happen this season, but nobody knows.”

Wolves, meanwhile, are still eyeing a top-half finish after halting a six-game winless run by beating struggling Luton Town 2-1 at Molineux last week, with goals from Hwang Hee-chan and Toti Gomes.

A spate of injuries saw their European hopes slip away, but with Pedro Neto back in full training alongside Hwang and Matheus Cunha, they could start with their first-choice front three for the first time since October.

Boss Gary O’Neil, who will serve a one-match touchline ban on Saturday, said: “To have all the senior players back and the group starting to look stronger again takes me back to October and how we felt at that moment.

“So we’re looking forward to seeing them all back together.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne has started six Premier League matches against Wolves, recording five goals and five assists against them, though nine of those involvements came at Molineux (five goals, four assists).

The Belgian also laid on two assists against Nottingham Forest last week to move to 110 overall in the Premier League – just one behind second-placed Cesc Fabregas in the all-time rankings.

Wolves – Hwang Hee-chan

Hwang scored 10 Premier League goals before the turn of the year, then went exactly four months without a goal due to international duty and injuries before netting against Luton last week.

Both he and Cunha have 11 Premier League goals this season, and there have only been three previous instances of a player netting more for the club in a single campaign – Steven Fletcher in 2011-12 (12) and Raul Jimenez in both 2018-19 (13) and 2019-20 (17).

MATCH PREDICTION – MANCHESTER CITY WIN

Wolves inflicted City’s first defeat of the Premier League season back in September, and they now have the chance to complete just their second top-flight double over them since 1960-61, having previously achieved the feat in 2019-20.

However, City are in ominous form, going unbeaten through their last 19 Premier League games (15 wins, four draws).

They have already enjoyed four unbeaten runs of 20 or more matches in the competition – three of them under Guardiola – and could become just the second team to achieve the feat five times (Manchester United have done so seven times).

All five of Wolves’ away Premier League wins this term have either been against either teams starting the day in the relegation zone (two) or versus London clubs (three).

They have lost 18 of their 20 Premier League away games against sides starting the day inside the top two, winning the others at Tottenham (in December 2018) and City (October 2019). The champions have no margin for error, and a slip-up from them looks unlikely at this stage.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Manchester City – 71.2%

Wolves – 9.6%

Draw – 19.2%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top