Friday, March 22, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Wolves

Verdict: Manchester City win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester City turn their attention back to their Premier League title defence on Monday night as Wolves head to the Etihad.

Manchester City

Starting with Monday’s hosts, after putting nine past Burton and all but booking their spot in the final of this year’s EFL Cup, the spirit in Manchester City’s camp appears to be back and thriving. With the chance to once again cut the deficit to Liverpool to four points, the Sky Blues have won their last four matches across all competitions and their form in the final third is really catching the eye. Scoring 21 goals on their winning run, Pep Guardiola’s side hold the best attacking record in the Premier League. One man to watch for Monday’s hosts will be leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero. Expected to be recalled to City’s starting XI, the Argentina international has scored in each of his last five Premier League home starts. While they’re shinning in attack, many around the Etihad are becoming more concerned by their instability at the back. City could go nine consecutive Premier League fixtures without a clean sheet for the first time since a run of 10 in a row from February to April 2006 under Stuart Pearce.

Team News

Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany could return to face Wolves after missing the past two cup games because of illness and a muscle problem respectively.

Fernandinho was rested for those two ties, while Fabian Delph returned from suspension for the EFL Cup demolition of Burton Albion.

Wolves

As for the visitors, coming off the back of a 2-1 win that saw them knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup and book their spot in the fourth round, Nuno Espírito Santo have entered 2019 in very impressive fashion. Although they will travel to the Etihad in the bottom half of the Premier League table, a shock win for Monday’s visitors would see them climb all the way up to seventh. Despite undoubtably travelling as an overwhelming underdog, Wolves did managed to pick up a 1-1 draw at Molineux in the reverse fixture back in August. Now holding the best record among the clubs seventh or lower against the Premier League’s established top six, the Oranges have arguably saved their best performances for on their travels. Wolves are now unbeaten in their last three matches outside of the Midlands and they could win consecutive top-flight away fixtures in a season for the first time since March to April 1981.

Team News

Wolves have no fresh injury concerns and will recall the likes of Rui Patricio and Matt Doherty.

They were among several regulars rested in the FA Cup win over Liverpool.

Diogo Jota played in that win on his return from a hamstring injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Wolves are winless in six top-flight away matches against Manchester City since a 3-2 victory at Maine Road in December 1979 (D1, L5).
  • City have won 12 of their past 14 home league fixtures, with their only defeat during that period coming against Crystal Palace three weeks ago.
  • They are unbeaten in 34 Premier League home matches against promoted opposition since a 2-0 defeat by Reading in February 2007 (W30, D4).
  • Wolves have the best record among the clubs seventh or lower against the Premier League’s established top six, earning nine points (W2, D3, L2).
  • Monday’s visitors have also scored at least one goal in eight of their last nine Premier League matches on the road.

Conclusion

While we do expect Manchester City to come away with another victory on Monday night, Wolves will undoubtably put up a respectable showing. With the Sky Blues failing to record a Premier League clean sheet in their last eight attempts, we are backing Nuno Espírito Santo’s side to breach the hosts defence at least once. Backing City to win and both teams to score at 7/4 seems like the smartest bet on Monday.

Verdict: Manchester City win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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