Friday Night Football comes from Molineux, as Wolves look to do the double over Manchester City. George Pitts looks at the betting.
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Wolves v Manchester City
- 1945 GMT kick-off on December 27, broadcast on Amazon Prime Video
Pep Guardiola has voiced his displeasure at having to play twice in the space of 48 hours over a busy festive period and this is just the start of it.
Against any opponents in such a short space of time is bad enough, but facing in-form Wolves and then Sheffield United is going to take some effort and he could at least rotate his midfield and forward line to freshen up his side.
If the title was not out of reach already, more dropped points here will only confirm that, so Guardiola will not want them to take their foot off the gas.
But, still, Wolves are 15/2 to win this. A home team that showed in the reverse fixture that they can get the better of City. That's generous.
As tempting as it is, it makes the handicaps market worth a look and Wolves +2 at a fraction under evens looks excellent and surely worth a look.
Granted, City have won their last four in all competitions since that derby defeat, but having played on Saturday evening and then having to go again so soon after this, it is difficult to see them thrashing a well organised Wolves side. And, besides, Nuno Espirito Santo's side have performed well against top clubs since returning to the top flight last season.
In 2018/19, they collected four points from Man United, four from Arsenal, three from Spurs (and the defeat was a close 3-2 thriller), one from a dominant Man City (at Molineux), none from Liverpool (but an FA Cup win at Anfield) and another four from Chelsea.
This time around, they have lost just three games in total while balancing Europa League football and two of those defeats have been by just one goal - including Spurs' recent injury-time winner.
At Molineux they can at least run City close. A two-goal head start is a great option and they can surely get on the score sheet to make it even more difficult for City.
With a similar theme and the handicaps once again, a nice odds-against price is on the hosts to have more corners with a head start of four.
While City will have periods of dominance, Wolves average six corners per game at home and they could pile up as they look to trouble an unconvincing City defence.
While City could also rack up the numbers - they average nine per game this season - to have four or more than Wolves is a tough ask, therefore making the 11/10 attractive value.
Prediction: Wolves 1-2 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
- Having won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the Etihad in October, Wolves are looking to complete their first league double over Man City since 1999-00 in the second tier, and for the first time in the top-flight since 1960-61.
- Manchester City have only failed to score in one of their last 10 league games against Wolves, netting 21 goals in total. However, that blank did come in the reverse fixture in October (0-2).
- Wolves versus Manchester City will be the 100th Premier League game to be played on a Friday. The home side has won 48 of the previous 99 such games (D28 L23), giving Friday the best win rate for the host team on a specific day of the week in the competition (48.5%).
- Wolves have lost all three of their Premier League games played on a Friday, while Man City have lost just one of their eight such games (W4 D3).
- Wolves haven’t lost consecutive home league games since January, when they lost against Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Molineux.
- Manchester City have scored 50 goals in their 18 Premier League games this season – it’s the fifth occasion of a Premier League side scoring 50+ goals before the halfway point of the campaign, with the Citizens responsible for all of them (also in 2011-12, 2013-14, 2017-18 and 2018-19).
- Wolves have scored in each of their last 17 Premier League games but have not scored more than twice in any game in that run. In English top-flight history, only Brentford (21 games between October 1938-February 1939) have scored in more consecutive games without netting more than twice.
- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has won 99 of his 132 Premier League games so far. A win against Wolves will see him break José Mourinho’s record for fewest number of games to reach 100 Premier League wins, with Mourinho doing so in 142 games.
- Wolves defender Conor Coady has played in every single minute of every Premier League game under Nuno Espirito Santo (56 games). In Premier League history, the only player to play more games and in every minute of a manager’s games in the competition is Mark Crossley under Frank Clark, who played every minute of Clark’s 97 games between 1994 and 1996.
- 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).
Odds correct as of 1145 GMT on 24/12/19