Wolves have lost both their opening Premier League games against ten men and now come up against champions Manchester City. It could be another tough afternoon for the newcomers.
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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City (1230 BST, Sky Sports Premier League)
If Wolves thought they had a tough start with a draw with Everton and defeat at Leicester, it just got a whole lot tougher as they welcome Premier League champions Manchester City to Molineux.
Pep Guardiola's centurions have started where they left off last term and they will certainly take some stopping. They also showed in the 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield that losing Kevin De Bruyne should not affect their season, with such strength in depth.
City are 1/4 on for the victory, with a draw available at a best price of 6/1 and a shock Wolves win at 12/1.
The Sky Bet Championship winners certainly have some talent in their ranks after adding to their quality and expensively-assembled squad in the summer. In fact, City were recently linked with a £60m move for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves and they will no doubt be keeping a close eye on him here.
City are likely to slip up somewhere along the line this season, but it has been reported how Guardiola has been emphasising to his squad about not getting complacent and, at this stage of the season, we cannot see it happening here.
Prediction: Wolves 1-3 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Watching Huddersfield being torn apart last week will surely prompt Wolves to try and keep it tight, at least for the opening 20 minutes or so but they just don't seem equipped to play defensively for 90 minutes and eventually City will cut them open.
Best Bet: Man City to beat Wolves & both teams to score at 7/4
Wolves have only scored two goals against ten-man Everton so far this season, having also played against ten men for half an hour at Leicester. City will be a lot more open though and will offer Wolves more space, especially on the counter - they should have the players to at least pinch a goal.
Goals: David Silva & Benjamin Mendy to both assist for 1+ goals at 9/1
David Silva returned with a timely reminder of his talents last week and without Kevin De Bruyne he'll be the man pulling the strings for City at Molineux. Mendy's already attlied four assists in tow games with his left-flank marauding and that'll again be a key outlet.
Selected RequestABet: Man City to win, both teams to score, over 3.5 goals and 12+ corners at 13/2
Not a huge price we're going for here but a decent price for a combination of events that seem relatively straightforward. There could be any number of goals and permutations in this one but we're staying sensible while still projecting a decent profit.
Opta pre-match statistics
- Wolverhampton Wanderers are set to face Manchester City in the Premier League for the first time since April 2012, with City winning 2-0 at Molineux the month before securing their first Premier League title.
- Manchester City have won five of their last six Premier League meetings with Wolves, losing the other at Molineux in October 2010.
- Wolves were one of only two teams that Manchester City faced in the 2017-18 season without scoring, drawing 0-0 in October 2017 in a League Cup tie (the other were Wigan Athletic).
- In the last two seasons when the previous year’s Championship winner has faced the reigning Premier League champion at home in the Premier League, the former has won the match (Burnley 1-0 Leicester City in 2016-17 and Newcastle United 3-0 Chelsea in 2017-18).
- Manchester City have lost only one of their last 29 Premier League games against newly promoted teams (W22 D6 L1), losing 0-1 at Burnley in March 2015 under Manuel Pellegrini. Under Pep Guardiola, they have yet to lose a Premier League match versus a newly promoted team (W9 D3).
- Manchester City are looking to become the first reigning Premier League champions to win their first three games of the season since rivals Manchester United managed to do so at the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign.
- Wolves have won just one of their last 26 Premier League matches (W1 D9 L16) and are winless in their last 16. They have never endured a longer run without a win in the topflight having also gone 16 games without a victory in 1970.
- Manchester City have won each of their last seven Premier League away games by an aggregate score of 18-3, with Raheem Sterling having a hand in seven of these goals (3 goals, 4 assists) – more than any other City player.
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has scored three Premier League hat-tricks in 2018, including one last time out versus Huddersfield Town – only two players have netted four or more hat-tricks in a single calendar year in the competition (Harry Kane, 6 in 2017 and Alan Shearer, 5 in 1995).
- Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus has yet to lose in any of the 18 Premier League games in which he has scored (W17 D1). Only Carlos Tevez (39) and Raheem Sterling (27) have netted in more Premier League matches for Manchester City without ending on the losing side.
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Odds correct as of 1005 BST on 24/08/18