Friday, October 23, 2020

Prediction: Wolves vs Manchester City

Verdict: Wolves double chance

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Unibet

Opening up their Premier League campaign on Monday night, Manchester City will make the trip to an empty Molineux in a contest that could prove to be a lively encounter.

Wolves

Starting with the hosts, while an altered Wolves side might have seen Championship outfit Stoke knock them out of the EFL Cup in midweek, they did manage to mark their Premier League return in eye-catching fashion. Bagging two goals in the opening six minutes away at last year’s surprise package Sheffield United, the Oranges left with a deserved 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane and many have them tipped as a real Champions League dark horse this time around. Signing off the extended 2019/2020 campaign with back-to-back 2-0 and 3-0 victories on home soil against Crystal Palace and Everton, there is no doubt that Head Coach Nuno Espírito Santo will be calling on one leading marksman to lead their charge on Monday night. Opening his account last weekend with what was a wonderfully taking strike on the road, Raul Jiminez has scored 28 goals in all competitions since the start of last season – among Premier League players in this period, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling have scored more.

Team News

Wolves are without forward Diogo Jota following his departure to Liverpool, while Jonny remains on the sidelines with a long-term knee injury.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, last seen out in Portugal getting hit with what was that shock 3-1 defeat against Lyon in the Champions League semi-final last month, Manchester City know that an immediate response is needed. Although Pep Guardiola might have come under real scrutiny for their European shortcomings, the Sky Blues did impress many at the end of the extended 2019/2020 campaign. With the likes of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus really enjoying real summer purple patches after returning from the enforced break, the former Barcelona boss saw his side win each of their final five Premier League matchups by an aggregate score of 21-1. However, while the Sky Blues might be looking to open the New Year with a statement on Monday, they could be concerned by what is a worrying record against the Midlands outfit. Including a stunning 3-2 loss when the two sides faced off back in December, Wolves were one of just two sides who managed to do the double over the former champions last season.

Team News

Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez is available after a spell in isolation because of a positive coronavirus test.

However, Aymeric Laporte is not yet ready to feature having been in isolation himself, while Sergio Aguero remains out injured.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Wolves were one of just two sides, along with Manchester United, to complete a Premier League double over Manchester City last season.
  • Manchester City won each of their final five Premier League matchups by an aggregate score of 21-1.
  • Raul Jiminez has scored 28 goals in all competitions since the start of last season – among Premier League players in this period, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling have scored more.
  • Wolves are unbeaten in their opening home league fixture in each of the past 10 seasons.
  • Pep Guardiola is in danger of losing three consecutive league games against a single opponent for the first time in his managerial career.

Conclusion

While Manchester City might be looking to open the New Year with a bang on Monday night, there is no doubt that Wolves have cemented their spot as Pep Guardiola’s bogey team. Already getting in a string of competitive action before that welcome the former champions to Molineux, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side should be looking to cause another real upset in the Midlands. Picking up back-to-back victories over the former Barcelona boss last season and with Raul Jiminez already opening up his account last week, don’t be surprised to see Wolves leave with something to show on Monday.

Verdict: Wolves double chance

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Unibet

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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