Wolves vs Man CityEnglish Premier League, KO: 19:45 Dec 27, 2019, Molineux
EVERY game is a must-win for Man City who will be aiming to continue their momentum at Molineux on Friday night.
The Citizens have looked like their old selves in recent weeks following 3-0 and 3-1 successes against Arsenal and Leicester respectively and City can ill afford anymore slip-ups in their crumbling quest to retain their crown.
Pep Guardiola's star-studded side will travel to the Midlands knowing that a third win on the spin will close the gap on either Leicester or Liverpool – or both – as something will have to give on Boxing Day when the Foxes face the Reds.
However, the Blue Moon were beaten in their own backyard by Wolves in the reverse fixture and the hosts will be looking to continue their excellent record against the traditional top-six.
Nuno Espirito Santo's side have racked up a number of eye-catching results against the so called “big six” following their promotion form the English Championship two seasons ago – only City and Liverpool boast a better points haul against the Premier League's heavyweights in recent seasons.
The Wanderers were beaten in their last home game by one of the divisions big hitters when Spurs squeezed out a last-gasp 2-1 victory, however, Wolves bounced back by collecting three points at Carrow Road against Norwich and the hosts will be now be aiming to become the scourge of City yet again on Friday night.
The Betting Odds
Wolves are looking to complete their first league double over Man City in two decades and a home success is a soaring 7/1 (BetVictor)
The Betting Angles
If the Citizens are to tame Wolves then Gurdiola will have to try and formulate a plan to deal with Wanderers turboman Adama Traore.
Traore gave Spurs the runaround a fortnight ago and Mourinho's men – like most sides this season – had to revert to the dark arts to try and deal with Traore's speed and physicality.
Consequently, the Wolves winger is one of the most fouled players in England this season – and quite incredibly 25 of the 27 opponents Traore has come up against across all competitions this term have had their names taken by the match official.
With that in mind, as well as the fact that Traore struck twice at the Etihad, I'm going to back whoever City deploy at left-back to be booked.
Benjamin Mendy has started City's last two leagues and he is 9/2 (Bet 365) to be cautioned and if Guardiola shuffles his pack then Oleksandr Zinchenko is a tempting 11/2 (Bet 365) for a card- regardless of who starts, both defenders look overpriced for a booking if given the thankless task of trying to shackle the Molineux flying-machine
However, Traore'e threat will be more prevalent on the counter-attack as Man City will more than likely dominate possession – much like they did at the Etihad the last time these two sides squared off on a day where the Citizens ended the game with 76% of the possession, despite falling to a 2-0 defeat.
With Santo's side set up to hit the Blue Moon on the break, coupled with the likelihood of the visitors enjoying the lion's share of possession, I'm really attracted to the Evens (Betfred) on offer for City to have over 1.5 corners in each half at Molineux.
No team has taken more corners in the top-flight this season than City – the reigning champions have amassed 159 corners in 18 outings to date – an average of almost nine per game – all of which adds to the appeal of backing City to take a couple of corners either side of the interval at Molineux.
If City are to maintain their toiling title bid then they will have to take all three points from this tussle and although the Manchester club have looked menacing in recent weeks, I suspect this showdown could be a lot tighter than what the betting suggests.
Points will be dropped when the top-two collide at the King Power and as such I wouldn't back against City to capitalize, however, I wouldn't be surprised to see Wolves give City a Friday night fright.
Indeed, Man City kept a clean sheet in their last Premier League road trip, however, that solitary success represents the Citizens only shutout in their last 12 attempts – and 11 of that sequence has seen both teams score.
What's more, Wolves have scored in all nine of their leagues games in their own manor this season – seven of that stretch have seen the visitors get on the scoresheet – and I fancy both teams to make the net bulge here at 4/5 (Betfred) – a bet that would have banked profit in 14 of the last 16 Premier League matches these two sides have contested collectively.
This English Premier League match between Wolves and Man City will be played on Dec 27, 2019 and kick off at 19:45