Manchester City get their 2020/21 Premier League campaign underway as they travel to the Midlands for what is expected to be a tough game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Having been afforded extra rest after their European exploits, City’s quest for a fifth Premier League title begins in the Black Country as they look to wrestle the trophy back from champions Liverpool.
As for Wolves, they made a great start to their season on Monday evening with a 2-0 victory at Sheffield United but may find life tougher against the Citizens at Molineux.
Wolves vs Manchester City tips
Despite the hosts winning their opening game, our expert tipster reckons a low-scoring away win is the way to go in his Wolves vs Manchester City tips. Click on the links below to make the bets and claim Betfred’s great Premier League welcome offer.
City to make winning start
Pep Guardiola will be eager for City to be champions of England again after giving up that title to Liverpool last season and the Citizens are the favourites of many experts to reclaim the crown.
The 81 points they amassed in 2019-20 would have won them the title outright just twice in the past 21 seasons, and matched Leicester’s total in 2015-16, but was 18 points behind Liverpool’s tally.
Careless mistakes at the back cost City on several occasions and Guardiola’s decision not to replace Vincent Kompany certainly came back to haunt him, but the Spanish tactician appears to have addressed that situation now.
Netherlands centre-back Nathan Ake has been brought in from relegated Bournemouth to bolster the defence and, if Aymeric Laporte is given the green light to play after he tested positive for coronavirus on 7 September, the duo could form a strong centre-back pairing.
City finished the 2019-20 Premier League campaign by winning their last five – scoring 21 goals and keeping four clean sheets during that run – and they should be raring to go in the West Midlands.
Wolves will be no pushovers and they showed their quality in Monday’s 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane, with Raul Jiménez and Romain Saiss grabbing the goals inside the opening six minutes.
Although impressive in the first 45 minutes in Sheffield, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men showed frailties in the second half when put under more pressure and the Blades will at least feel they should have scored, given they hit the woodwork and had a header cleared off the line.
City like to dominate possession and wear teams down, and should have enough quality to claim three points, and will want to avenge last season’s 3-2 defeat in the corresponding fixture, when Wolves overturned a two-goal deficit to win.
Tip: Manchester City to win to nil @ 13/8 with bet365
Goals not a given at Molineux
It may seem strange to suggest that there won’t be a glut of goals in Monday’s contest, especially given City plundered 102 league goals last term, but it could be a close affair.
The Citizens have a wealth of attacking talent to choose from, including Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne, but they will be coming up against a Wolves side who have been very impressive at the back.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men conceded just 40 times in the league last season, the fifth-best record in the division, and they have kept clean sheets in six of their last seven home league matches.
Of the last six competitive meetings between these two teams, under 2.5 goals has come in on four occasions and in one of the exceptions, City were reduced to 10 men for most of last season’s five-goal thriller here, so another low-scoring battle could be on the cards on Monday.
Tip: Under 2.5 goals @ 6/5 with bet365
Debutant to hit the right mark
Dutchman Ake may have been brought in to shore up the defence but he also has an eye for goal, having scored eight goals over the last three top-flight seasons for his former club Bournemouth.
Although Wolves have been strong at the back, they were susceptible to set pieces against the Blades last time out and they could be caught out against City, who have a lot more quality that Chris Wilder’s side from dead-ball situations.
There has been a running theme of debutants scoring over the opening weekend, with Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick both netting for Newcastle United and Timothy Castagne scoring for Leicester, and Ake looks tempting at 12/1 to bag a goal at any time against Wolves.
Tip: Nathan Ake to score at any time @ 9/1 with bet365
Wolves vs Manchester City odds
Manchester City go into the game as odds-on 1/2 favourites while Wolves are unfancied to shock the Citizens at 11/2, with the draw at 10/3.
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.
Wolves team news
Summer signing Fernando Marcal could start at left wing-back with Adama Traore on the right. Diogo Jota has completed his move to Liverpool so Raul Jimenez and Pedro Neto will again start up front. Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho will be the central midfield pair with Willy Boly, Conor Coady and Romain Saiss making up the back three.
Wolves predicted line-up (3-5-2): Patricio; Boly, Coady, Saiss; Traore, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal, Podence; Jimenez, Neto
Manchester City team news
Gabriel Jesus is set to start up front for City’s opener as Sergio Aguero is still recovering from a knee injury. Bernardo Silva is a doubt with a knock but Riyad Mahrez should be fit to line up next to Jesus with Raheem Sterling on the left. Ake is poised to make his debut alongside Eric Garcia with Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker the full-backs. Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating, meaning Phil Foden could start in midfield.
Manchester City predicted line-up (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Garcia, Ake, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Foden; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
Last five results
14 Sep PL Sheff Utd 0 Wolves 2 W
11 Aug EL Wolves 0 Sevilla 1 L
6 Aug EL Wolves 1 Olympiacos 0 W
26 Jul PL Chelsea 2 Wolves 0 L
20 Jul PL Wolves 2 Palace 0 W
15 Aug UCL Man City 1 Lyon 3 L
7 Aug UCL Man City 2 Real Madrid 1 W
26 Jul PL Man City 5 Norwich 0 W
21 Jul PL Watford 0 Man City 4 W
18 Jul FAC Arsenal 2 Man City 0 L
Wolves vs Manchester City: last five meetings
27 Dec 19 PL Wolves 3 Man City 2
6 Oct 19 PL Man City 0 Wolves 2
14 Jan 19 PL Man City 3 Wolves 0
25 Aug 18 PL Wolves 1 Man City 1
24 Oct 17 LC Man City 0 Wolves 0*
*Man City won on penalties
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