Manchester City will aim to take another giant step towards Premier League glory when Wolverhampton Wanderers welcome them to Molineux for Wednesday’s fixture.
Bruno Lage’s side fought back to draw 2-2 with Chelsea at the weekend, while the table-toppers hit Newcastle United for five without reply.
With Chelsea dropping points from winning positions time and time again this season, Wolves were not down and out after Romelu Lukaku’s two-minute brace at Stamford Bridge, as the Blues’ new owners witnessed their side suffer a capitulation in the capital.
The introduction of livewire Chiquinho sparked a dramatic Wolves fightback in the final few moments, as the 22-year-old found Francisco Trincao to curl home before his pinpoint cross met the head of Conor Coady in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time.
Lage’s side were seemingly consigned to a fourth successive league defeat before Coady’s heroic late goal, and that point has just about kept them in contention for a European place as they occupy eighth spot in the rankings – five points behind West Ham United who have played a game more.
A strong end to the season could even see Wolves usurp Manchester United, but Lage’s side must still face City and Liverpool before the final whistle blows on a tumultuous campaign, with a home clash to basement side Norwich City sandwiched in between the two meetings with the title contenders.
While Wolves ended a three-game run without a point or goal in West London, Lage’s formerly solid defence has now been breached in six successive Premier League games, and their pattern of winning one then losing one at home may not count for much against the clinical Citizens.
The first team to face Manchester City after a European elimination should always prepare themselves for the prospect of a drubbing, and Pep Guardiola’s side followed the script with a merciless showing against Newcastle United to extend their lead at the top of the rankings.
Raheem Sterling was on target twice alongside goals from Phil Foden, Rodri and Aymeric Laporte at the Etihad, and with Liverpool failing to get the better of Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, Guardiola’s side are inching ever closer to domestic glory.
Indeed, City continue to lead the pack on goal difference after Liverpool could only beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Tuesday night – they needed a four-goal margin of victory to return to the summit – and Guardiola hit out at the perceived favouritism towards the Merseyside club over the weekend.
The Catalan’s players must only focus on the task at hand on the field, and they have done so admirably with four successive Premier League wins – scoring 17 goals and conceding just one in that streak – and their unbeaten away run in the top flight now stands at a staggering 16 games, unsurprisingly a new club record.
It took a Sterling penalty for City to undo Wolves’ hard work in a 1-0 Etihad victory back in December, with that result representing the champions’ third consecutive win over the Molineux side, and a fourth would go a long way to cementing their status at the top.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form:
Manchester City Premier League form:
Manchester City form (all competitions):
We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Manchester City
In spite of their lack of defensive options, a backline of Fernandinho and Laporte is still a reliable pairing for Man City, whereas Wolves are not the same defensive force that very nearly shut the champions out at the Etihad.
Guardiola’s side only have the Premier League title left to fight for this term and have been in utterly ruthless form domestically, which is sure to aid their prospects of victory against a Wolves side whose inconsistency at Molineux should bedevil them once again.