Man City vs Wolves Prediction
Sunday 22nd January 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we analyse Wolves’ visit to the Etihad Stadium. Can City build upon their impressive second-half turnaround against Spurs? Or will Wolves frustrate the champions? Find out with our Man City vs Wolves prediction.
Man City vs Wolves Prediction Match Overview
Man City come into this game having accumulated 10 points from their last five league games following the World Cup. Their only blips were a home draw against Everton and a defeat at Old Trafford last weekend. Indeed, they have scored ten goals across this period, averaging two a game. Their home form is also generally excellent, as they are top of the home table this season, with 25 points from 10 games. Admittedly, Arsenal, in second, have only played eight at home. Their game on Thursday night against Tottenham was a strange one. They conceded two quick-fire goals near half-time and went into the break 2-0 down. However, the team’s spirited performance, especially Riyad Mahrez, saw them score four goals in the second half to win 4-2. Therefore, despite the upsets at the Etihad to Brentford and Everton this season, they will fancy their chances against Wolves in their efforts to catch Arsenal. City are five points behind the Gunners, having played a game more, so they must increase their efforts.
Wolves travel to Manchester in 13th place in the form table across the last six games. They have taken 7 points in this spell. However, losses to Brighton, Arsenal, and Manchester United (who are all doing well right now) will have been disappointing, if expected. They did manage to win their last game at home to West Ham, which is a sign that new coach Julen Lopetegui’s ideas are sinking in. They have only won one game and picked up 6 points in their nine matches away from home this season. So, they may not feel confident as City’s tails might be up given the comeback against Tottenham. Wolves sit in 16th position with 17 points from 19 games. They must increase this tally in the second half of the season to avoid relegation, especially as only two points separate the bottom seven. Wolves have significant issues scoring goals, with a league-low of 12, although they hope that new additions Matheus Cunha and Pablo Sarabia will help rectify their scoring output.
Man City vs Wolves Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play:
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Kalajdzic, Neto, Chiquinho, B Traore
Man City vs Wolves Predicted Lineups
Man City: Ederson; Aje, Akanji, Stones, Lewis; Rodri, Gundogan; Grealish, De Bruyne, Mahrez; Haaland
Wolves: Sa; Bueno, Collins, Kilman, Semedo; Neves, Nunes, Lemina; Podence, Cunha, Sarabia
Man City vs Wolves Prediction Analysis
City’s Comeback Against Tottenham and Guardiola’s Criticism
It’s no secret that City have been playing more ponderously in recent months and not with the usual intensity to which their supporters are accustomed. There was heavy booing from the stands when the half-time whistle blew with them 2-0 down to Tottenham. Whatever coach Pep Guardiola said at half-time seemed to ignite the players. They came out and had levelled the scoreline by the 53rd minute, then went on to win relatively comfortably. The approach in the first and second half was night and day. We attribute it to Guardiola seemingly shifting the positions of full-backs Lewis and Ake to play wider and with more support to Mahrez and Grealish. They played more inside the field in the first half. Having full-backs infield gives City more control and often helps protect better defensively in case of opposition transitions. However, using the full-backs to get up and down the line offers overlaps and support. This supposed change of strategy may have aided Mahrez and Grealish’s performances in the second half.
Still, Guardiola was not happy and hasn’t been for months. In the post-match interview, he launched a scathing attack on his players and the fans. Guardiola said that the players lack passion and fire, implying they are not up for the fight and that the intensity and control in the team’s game have lessened. He also said that he wanted his fans back, indicating that the Spaniard might have taken the booing at half-time personally, or that he feels the supporters are not doing enough. Perhaps Guardiola is playing some mind games or is genuinely frustrated with the club. Whatever the reason for his controversial outburst, the second half against Tottenham should not mask that City still have many areas to improve.
City Will Dominate Possession and Use the Width
Despite the above, City are better at stringing passes together than everyone else, even if they are not at the level of previous years under Guardiola, such as the Centurion side of 17-18. City have made 12,842 passes in the league this season, an average of 676 per game. People can make arguments that sometimes their possession has been sterile. However, the fact remains that they dominate possession in every league game they play. They will likely do the same again against Wolves. We expect the visitors to play in a low block and on the counter-attack to try to contain better players and prevent a better team from scoring. De Bruyne will possibly come back into the team in place of Alvarez. However, the young Argentinan impressed against Tottenham with his industry, pressing, link-up play, and finishing for his goal. Guardiola might give him another start, but if not, he is a dangerous weapon from the bench. City should, though, have more forward thrust and drive from midfield with De Bruyne reinstated.
Grealish and Mahrez will likely retain their places out wide (though Foden is a quality replacement). We see Rodri and Gundogan continuing in midfield to try to control the game, though Bernardo could come back in. The defenders and full-backs will be expected to build play and contribute in attack as they did against Tottenham, and the width will be critical. Lewis and Ake must support Grealish and Mahrez, and the two wingers will look to attack Semedo and Bueno, try to beat them, and get in behind them to supply Haaland with chances. Guardiola likes his wingers to start very wide, as it opens up the spaces in the middle of the pitch and allows the wingers to come inside where the space is to cross, cut back or shoot.
The Wolves Counter-Attack and Problems Scoring
Wolves’ problems scoring are well-documented, and they likely will not fancy their chances in attack away against the champions. If they score, it will likely only be once, so they must be defensively resolute and not allow City to rack up two or three goals. Wolves will sit in their shape and look to Neves, Nunes, and new signing Lemina to give energy in midfield to try to close spaces and put pressure on the City players. The back four and Sa in goal must be very switched on defensively, and the two centre-backs must be wary of Haaland’s threat running behind and in the air. If Wolves can win the ball while City are attacking, they can break on transition and look to Podence, Sarabia, and Cunha to get them up the pitch. Introducing the flying machine Adama Traore could help them later in the game if they are still level. Wolves’ best chance of scoring in this game is on the break. They should target Ederson; the City goalkeeper has been making more errors of late, including the wayward pass for the opener against Tottenham.
Beat the Bookmaker Man City vs Wolves Prediction
City still have their issues, but they will see this game as a way to continue getting back up to speed after the second half against Tottenham. Wolves have some excellent players, and Lopetegui is prioritising scoring more goals with the additions of Lemina, Cunha, and Sarabia. They can find some joy in counter-attacking situations at the Etihad, but it will take time for their new players to settle in and build chemistry. We have predicted their relatively new players to start; Lopetegui might not do this. However, if he does, it will be brave and show he is trying to get a good result against City. Indeed, Wolves will be hoping to increase their goalscoring ratio in the second half of the season. Nonetheless, City will likely control this game, find spaces and openings, and be too strong against a team much lower down the table. If City do win, they will hope leaders Arsenal will drop points in their game immediately afterwards against Man United.
Man City 3-1 Wolves
Beat the Bookmaker Man City vs Wolves Prediction – City -1 Handicap (win by 2 goals or more) Odds:
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