Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers – Betting Tips & Predictions – 14/01

Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021


 

Nuno Espirito Santo brings his Wolves side, fresh from a remarkable FA Cup victory over League leaders Liverpool, to the home of the reigning champions this Monday evening. A win or draw here for the visitors would complicate City’s fight to pull themselves back to the top of the table, a battle which they began by beating the leaders 2-1 in their last Premier League outing.

Since that game, City have been active in the cup competitions, warming up by thrashing Rotherham 7-0 in the FA Cup, and then navigating the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals with an even bigger win, firing nine goals past Burton Albion to no reply. With sixteen goals in their last two outings, then, Pep Guardiola’s side will be hungry to keep their scoring run going, but will settle for any win against a side that held them 1-1 in the reverse fixture back in August.

Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

City have scored an average of six goals per game in 2019, and if any team is capable of maintaining that pace it would have to be them. However, Wolves are no mugs and their defence, built around a solid back three and tactical discipline, has not allowed more than three goals in any game this season – and only once, against Tottenham, have they conceded that many. That said, it’s hard to see a City side very much in battle mode failing to pick up all three points here. Wolves will make them work for it, but we’d back the hosts to win 3-1.

Our recommended tip: Sergio Aguero FGS

Sixteen goals in 180 minutes, and all achieved without their main striker. Who needs Sergio Aguero? Well, when it comes to snatching half-chances, as may be necessary against the doughty visitors from the West Midlands, the Argentinian forward is a master. His opening goal against Liverpool, a stunning finish that seemed to defy science, was testament to the value Aguero brings to a team he has graced for longer than any current team-mate bar Vincent Kompany. Fresh from a long rest, Aguero is 23/10 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock here. We wouldn’t back against him.

Previous matches

The most obvious place to look for precedent is the meeting these two had at Molineux back in August. That day, the freshly-promoted Wolves gave Guardiola no shortage of headaches, having the better of the first half and then going ahead on 57 minutes as Willy Boly touched home Joao Moutinho’s free kick (a touch which, on further inspection, came from his hand). It fell to the unlikely figure of Aymeric Laporte to restore parity, the Basque defender heading in powerfully from Ilkay Gundogan’s set-piece with 69 minutes on the clock. Repeating this showing at the Etihad will, however, be tough for Wolves.

Top 3 Premier League Bookies

Players to watch: Bernardo Silva & Conor Coady

Having done much of his work for City as a utility player, often filling in for Kevin de Bruyne, it’s got to the point where Bernardo Silva’s claim for a regular first-team place can no longer be ignored. Blessed with exceptional ball control and a reading of the game that brings to mind past Portuguese legends such as Deco and Rui Costa, the former Monaco playmaker belies his small stature to make a positive impact whenever he plays – and his elusiveness may be vital against Wolves’ highly-structured set-up.

Merseyside-born Coady has bounced back from being let go by Liverpool, and captained his current side to win last season’s Championship. His performances over the first half of his first season in Premier League football are understood to have drawn the attention of England coach Gareth Southgate. Having made the step up to the Premier League without batting an eyelid, there’s little doubt he could do a job at international level – and there are few better auditions for that than facing City at the Etihad.

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