At half-time of Man City’s game against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night, their title hopes appeared to be over. Pep Guardiola’s side were 2-0 down and staring at an eight-point deficit to Premier League leaders Arsenal having played a game more. But an inspired second-half performance from Riyad Mahrez helped Man City to a 4-2 victory, keeping them five points behind Arsenal — though still having played a game more.
The problem for Man City remains consistency, however. Man City have won just three of their past six Premier League matches, drawing with Everton and losing to Brentford and Manchester United, the latter having gone a goal up. But with this game they do have the chance to put some pressure on Arsenal, who face Man Utd themselves after this game.
Wolves, meanwhile, have their own desires to move up the table in what is one of the closest relegation battles in quite some time. Just three points separate basement club Southampton and Leicester up in 14th, with Wolves currently 17th. After Saturday’s results, Wolves are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference but they look set to stay safe for another week, unless Man City win by nine goals.
Julen Lopetegui’s men also go into this game off the back of a win, beating West Ham 1-0 in what was a big game at the bottom of the table. It came just days after a draw with Aston Villa in what has been a decent start to life in England for Lopetegui. Although they have lost against Man Utd, Wolves have won seven points from their four games since Lopetegui took charge, having earned 10 from their opening 15 matches.
(Stake Not Returned on Free Bets). 18+ New UK Customers. Must bet £10 in total on 4+ legs, min odds 4.0. £20 credited as free bets, stake not returned. T&C Apply. BeGambleAware.org.
Man City vs Wolves match stats
Wolves may be the lowest scorers in the Premier League this season, netting just 12 goals in 19 games, but they have been finding the net under Lopetegui. Since the Spaniard took charge, Wolves have averaged a goal a game compared to 0.5 per match before he took charge. Man City have also kept three clean sheets in their 12 matches since the start of November, with all three coming against Chelsea.
But at the other end of the pitch, Wolves will have to keep Mahrez quiet. The Algerian was the man of the moment against Tottenham and it wasn’t just a one-off performance, he has been in blistering form since the World Cup break finished, scoring six goals in eight matches across all competitions.