This massive week of festive football is brought to an end on Friday night, as Manchester City head to the Black Country looking to avenge one of their worst defeats of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Both sides have ambitions this season, but both are already considered as rank outsiders to achieve those respective goals. But, who can take the three points at Molineux?
The reigning Premier League champions may have helped Liverpool take their crown off of them in their last league match, as they ensured that the gap between second and top remained at ten points by defeating Leicester City at the Etihad. The Foxes have emerged as the shock lead contenders for the Reds, but they have fallen off the pace over recent weeks. City themselves are trailing the runaway leaders by eleven points, but they will need a minor miracle if they are to get back into contention.
In the true style of champions, City have saved two of their best performances of the season for the past two weekends. The first of those saw City runover Arsenal at the Emirates in a dazzling first-half performance. Kevin De Bruyne scored an excellent brace in that half and was denied a mesmeric hat-trick by a fine save from Bernd Leno. Raheem Sterling scored the other City goal in that win. The Citizens needed to come from behind against Leicester in their last game, as Jamie Vardy put the Foxes ahead. However, Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogen and Gabriel Jesus goals turned the tide in their favour.
Many feared at the beginning of the season that Wolves would struggle this season as they had to compete in the Europa League as well as the Premier League. However, there have been no effects of that, and they are sitting comfortably in the top half of the table. They are just five points outside of the top four and are currently above Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal in the league standings.
They have lost just three times this season, which is the second-best record in the division. They go into the game against Manchester City having won their last game against Norwich City. Wolves had to come from behind in that game, as Todd Cantwell put the Canaries ahead. However, two goals in the final 30 minutes turned the game in their favour as Romain Saiss equalised before Raul Jimenez scored the winner with ten minutes remaining.
Head to Head
Wolves have enjoyed an excellent record against Manchester City over recent seasons, and both sides have been victorious on 48 occasions. There have also been 25 draws. The last meeting between the sides came back in October when Wolves ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a brace from Adama Traore.
Wolves Team News
The home side will be without Willy Boly and Mertitan Shabani for the clash on Friday. Meanwhile, Morgan Gibbs-White will also not be match fit.
Manchester City Team News
Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane will both be missing for City. Ilkay Gundogen and David Silva are doubts, while John Stones may be fit enough for a place on the bench.
This should be a high-quality fixture between two sides that are productive in the way that they play. Wolves are better without the ball, which is why they have such a good record against the top-six. However, Manchester City can’t afford any more slip-ups, so they will have to get the three points at all costs. Expect a tough City performance, and them to shade the game 2-1, or 3-1.