Manchester City will look to continue their good run of form when they travel to Wolves on Friday night.
Pep Guardiola‘s men have struggled this season in comparison to previous campaigns but have comfortably beaten Arsenal and Leicester in their last two league games.
Liverpool play Leicester on Boxing Day, meaning the Citizens could be 14 points off the pace at the top of the table by the time they kick off. Three points against Wolves is a must but, as always, it will be anything but easy against Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.
Guardiola has even admitted that he is “not optimistic” about catching leaders Liverpool during the second half of the season as he does not expect Jurgen Klopp’s men to lose “four or five games” between now and the end of the campaign. The Spaniard’s admission suggests he knows his team can ill-afford to drop any more points themselves.
Can Man City keep in touch at the top or will Wolves effectively end their title hopes? Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.
When is Wolves vs Man City and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Date: Friday, 27 December 2019
Kick-off: 7:45 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): The game is not available on traditional TV but can be live streamed on Amazon Prime.
Last five meetings: Wolves vs Man City
06 Oct 2019: Man City 0-2 Wolves (Premier League)
14 Jan 2019: Man City 3-0 Wolves (Premier League)
25 Aug 2018: Wolves 1-1 Man City (Premier League)
24 Oct 2017: Man City 0-0 Wolves (League Cup)
22 Apr 2012: Wolves 0-2 Man City (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Wolves (WLDDL) 3-6 Man City (LWDDW)
Ones to watch
Wolves: Joao Moutinho
Even with home advantage, Wolves will have to surrender a lot of possession to Man City and will have their work cut out to maintain their shape and discipline. Joao Moutinho will be key to both winning the ball back, then retaining it for extended periods once they do so.
The Portugal international continues to roll back the years in a Wolves shirt and exerts huge influence in all facets of the game. Nuno will rely upon him once more on Friday.
Key stat: Joao Moutinho has made more tackles (51) and completed more passes (769) in the Premier League than any other Wolves player.
Man City: Kevin De Bruyne
Spend 10 minutes, an hour – hell – even a whole day trying to make a case for there being a better player in the Premier League right now than Kevin De Bruyne. In fact, don’t waste your time, you won’t be able to.
The Belgium international is a truly supreme playmaker, able to split defences from mind-boggling angles and find passes that nobody else can. If Man City are to take an impressive result from Molineux, it will likely be as a result of De Bruyne’s brilliance.
Key stat: Kevin De Bruyne has provided 10 Premier League assists so far this season, at least three more than any other player.
Willy Boly and Morgan Gibbs-White remain sidelined for Wolves but other than that, Espirito Santo has no fresh injury concerns.
Predicted XI: Patricio; Dendoncker, Cody, Saiss; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny; Traore, Jota, Jimenez.
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Sergio Aguero returned to action from the bench last time out but Guardiola may choose to leave him out of the starting XI once again with a busy schedule ahead – Gabriel Jesus is an able deputy.
John Stones and David Silva are set to miss out once again but Rodri could return to the starting line-up, while Ilkay Gundogan picked up a knock against Leicester and is a doubt.
Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte are still some way from fitness.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Mendy; Rodrigo, De Bruyne, B.Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.
Convincing wins over Arsenal and Leicester will go a long way towards restoring Man City’s confidence and has kept them in with a slender chance of catching Liverpool. A trip to Wolves is never easy and Guardiola’s men will have to be on top form once again, but their superior attacking quality should see them through.
Scoreline prediction: Wolves 1-2 Man City
Check out more of Squawka’s betting tips here.