Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Venue: Etihad Stadium
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
Referee: Craig Pawson
Manchester City welcome Wolves to the Etihad on Monday night, keen to right some wrongs that were made in the reverse fixture at the start of the season, when a Rui Patricio masterclass and some dodgy refereeing cost City their first dropped points of the season, and truly marked the arrival of Wolves to England’s premier division.
Both sides come into the game on the back of a good run of form, with the Citizens having recently ended Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the league season, and Wolves having subsequently knocked the same opponents out of the FA Cup soon thereafter.
City will be keen to pick up from where they left off after steamrolling Rotherham and Burton Albion, hitting 17 goals without reply, whilst continuing to close the gap at the top of the table. Wolves will likewise be keen to hunt down yet another member of the ‘big six’.
City must be extremely careful not to let their foot off the gas, for Wolves’ last two wins against the big boys in the league came from losing positions (2-1 vs Chelsea and 1-3 vs Spurs). Similarly, City’s last two defeats in the league have also come from winning positions (1-3 vs Crystal Palace and 2-1 vs Leicester City).
Manchester City – Benjamin Mendy nears a return to full fitness, but this game comes too early for him to feature. Sergio Aguero suffered from illness after the Liverpool came, but trained on Friday. He may feature, but is not expected to start and finish the game. Vincent Kompany likewise is recovering from a knock, after hobbling off in the dying moments of the victory against Liverpool. Kevin de Bruyne looks to have returned to full fitness, and will be desperate to be involved from the start. Fabian Delph has served his three game ban, and will be available for selection, possibly at left-back.
Wolves – No major developments in the injury department for Wolves ahead of tonight’s game. Tammy Abraham seemed set to be heading to Molineux for a joint club record fee, but more recent rumours suggest that the deal may initially be for a loan, then for an outright purchase.
Predicted Starting XIs:
Manchester City (4-3-3) – Ederson; Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, David Silva, Bernardo Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sane.
Wolves (3-4-3) – Patricio; Bennet, Boly, Coady; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny; Cavaleiro, Jimenez, Jota.
Predicted Score: Manchester City 3-1 Wolves
City’s defence has been quite leaky in the Premier League of late, and I expect Wolves to breach it once, possibly from a counter-attack or set piece. However, City’s firepower going forward will be too much for Wolves to handle, and with Jesus, Sane and Sterling being in excellent form, City should be able to grind out a win to keep Liverpool honest at the top of the table.