Man City host Wolves at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night. The hosts are in truly imperious form and are cruising towards the league title. With 20 consecutive wins in all competitions, they face a Wolves side in good form now after a very poor slump, and who did the double over Man City last season.
Man City Form
Man City have won 20 consecutive matches in all competitions and are unbeaten in 27 games. Having kept 19 clean sheets during that undefeated run, few teams have even had a sniff of a result.
Guardiola’s side have had some fine recent wins including 4-1 at Liverpool, 3-0 at home against Spurs, 1-0 at Arsenal and 2-0 away at Borussia Monchengladach. In their last match, they beat West Ham 2-1 at home despite not playing particularly well and resting several first choice players.
Since losing at home to Leicester in September, they’ve won 14 of 16 matches at the Etihad Stadium and have conceded just four times.
Man City Team News
City only have Nathan Ake absent with injury in central defence but they have significant depth in that position. Guardiola handed Sergio Aguero a start against West Ham after a long term injury but is expected to revert to the bench for this match.
Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Raheem Sterling and Joao Cancelo were all rested down to the substitutes bench against West Ham to keep them fresh for this clash and all five look certain to start.
Man City Motivation
City will go all out to win the match using their “pandemic-ball” style of high possession, less pressing exertion and a strict positional game when less running is required. Expect City to have 65% of the ball in the match.
Having lost twice to Wolves last season, City know the threat posed by Adama Traore and Pedro Neto on counter attacks and could play duel inverted fullbacks to guard against counters.
Wolves had a dire five weeks of results from late December to late January. In that time, they lost five and drew three of their eight league matches. That run included a 3-2 home defeat to West Brom which asked serious questions of the coach and players.
Since then, Wolves have hit a good run of results and improved performances. They somewhat burgled a 2-1 home win against nine-man Arsenal to end their slump before a credible 0-0 draw at home to Leicester. Wolves then won 2-1 at Southampton and 1-0 at home to Leeds. In their last match, they drew 1-1 at Newcastle. Ruben Neves equalised in the second half.
Wolves Team News
Wolves have four injuries to deal with for this match. In defence, Willy Boly is out with a thigh injury and Fernando Marcal has had minor groin surgery. Daniel Podence is missing from the wide or attacking midfield areas and Raul Jimenez remains absent long-term after a fractured skull.
Nuno Espirito Santo has changed a lot this season between a back four and back five out of possession but the latter is being used right now and that should continue so Leander Dendoncker should line up in the back three once again.
Wolves are likely to use their usual big game strategy of ceding possession, sitting deep and absorbing pressure and trying to hit their speedy wingers on the counter attack. There is no doubt that Nuno would consider a draw to be like a victory from this match and he will set up to play for a point from the start.
City have won 20 matches in a row (27 unbeaten – W24, D3)
City have kept 19 clean sheets in their last 27 matches
Man City have won 14 PL matches in a row, 10 of them to zero
Wolves are 5 PL matches unbeaten (W3, D2)
Wolves have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 19 PL matches
Wolves have lost 4 and drawn 3 of their last 8 away PL matches
Wolves have failed to score in 4 of their last 8 away PL matches
Despite Wolves’ two wins against City last season, the home side look resounding favourites to win yet again. The best bet could be a win to zero but the odds are not favourable at 0.50. Some creative bets are going to be needed to find good value so City to win a low scoring match seems wise.