Wolves v Manchester City: Champions to be tested again

Nuno's Wolves side have a strong record against Guardiola's Man City
Nuno's Wolves side have a strong record against Guardiola's Man City

Wolves have caused plenty of problems for Manchester City in recent meetings and that trend can continue in Friday's sole Premier League game, says Andy Schooler...

"Wolves have only lost by two or more once this season - 5-2 at home to Chelsea in September, a result which belies their strong record against the top teams. Remember they beat Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea at Molineux last season."

Back Wolves (+1.0 & +1.5) on Asian handicap @ 2.01/1

Wolves v Manchester City
Friday 27 December, 19:45
Live on Amazon Prime Video

Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolves have given Manchester City plenty of problems in recent times.

This fixture last season produced a 1-1 draw, while earlier in the current campaign the champions were beaten 2-0 at home by the men from the Black Country. That is the only game this term in which City have not scored.

City also failed to score against Wolves in a League Cup tie, won by City on penalties, in 2017/18 - the season Wolves won the Championship.

No fear for Wolves

That's a pretty strong record, one probably only Liverpool can match against a Guardiola-led City.

Adama Traore scored the two goals at the Etihad in October and his fine season continues - he caused Spurs all sorts of problems in the last game at Molineux, one Wolves somehow contrived to lose. Traore should get plenty of change out of the City left-back area, one which has been a problem all season long.

Raul Jimenez has been a regular threat too. He now has 16 goals for the campaign and while they have dried up a bit of late, it has been notable that Diogo Jota has stepped up in recent games, delivering five goals in his last four appearances.

At the back, the injured Willy Boly hasn't been missed as much as many feared and so Wolves should enter this game without the fear some of City's opponents have brought in the past.

Stones, Silva miss out

The visitors will again be without John Stones and David Silva, while Sergio Aguero is only fit enough for the bench, according to Guardiola.

Aguero-1280.jpg

Still, with Gabriel Jesus filling the Argentine's boots admirably and Kevin de Bruyne continually resplendent, Wolves will still have their work cut out to restrict them.

City restricted again?

As already demonstrated, that is something they have managed in the past though, and so there is possible value in going under 2.5 goals at 2.447/5.

City's attack means the overs in this market is always short. This time it's 1.618/13 but while City's games nearly always deliver this bet (89% of the time), only 33% of Molineux games have done.

Both the stats - and the price of 1.845/6 - are better for both teams to score.

Nine of Wolves' last 10 league games (and 14 of 18 across the whole season) have seen both teams find the net, while for City it's seven of the last eight and 11 of 18 for the season.

To add weight to the argument, Wolves, like City, have only failed to score in one game this season and that was on the opening day.

Visitors strong favourites

I certainly prefer the BTTS bet to getting involved with City at 1.434/9 in the outright match betting.

Wolves are available at 8.88/1 to complete the double over the champions, while the draw is a 5.24/1 shot.

Both are tempting given the success Wolves have had against City but a better way of getting with them looks to be on the Asian handicaps.

Handicap route

Backing Wolves on the +1.0 & +1.5 line (known as the +1.25 line to some) will deliver a profit even if they lose by a one-goal margin.

They've only lost by two or more once this season - 5-2 at home to Chelsea in September, a result which belies their strong record against the top teams. Remember they beat Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea at Molineux last season.

This is a tricky time of year with the games coming thick and fast - something Nuno was quick to point out during his pre-match press conference - but this option looks the best bet for a game which should entertain.

Opta fact

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 19 goals in his last 19 Premier League starts (7 goals, 12 assists) and has more assists than any other player in the competition in 2019-20 (10).

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Andy Schooler's P/L 2019/20

Staked: 47pts
Returned: 51.01pts
P/L: +4.01pts

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