Manchester City vs Wolves preview: Pep Guardiola wary of visitors
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Last Updated: 14/01/19 7:29pm
Manchester City will aim to close the gap on Liverpool when Wolves visit on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports.
After a sticky patch, City have recorded back-to-back Premier League wins and have won their last four games in all competitions, scoring 21 goals.
However, Wolves stifled City in the reverse fixture earlier this season when they drew 1-1. They have also taken points on all three visits to top-six clubs so far this season and beat Liverpool in the FA Cup third round last time.
As a result, City boss Pep Guardiola is wary of Wolves and has hailed their performances to date this season after earning promotion last term.
"We realised in the first game how complicated they would be," he said.
"They are strong physically, make good runs in counter-attack. They defend well and deep, they control many areas.
"That is why they are doing incredibly well in the Premier League."
Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany could be back in contention for Manchester City.
The pair missed the cup games against Rotherham and Burton, striker Aguero through illness and captain Kompany with a muscular problem, but are close to fitness, although Guardiola was unsure about their availability on Friday.
Midfielder Fernandinho is expected to return after being rested for both cup matches but left-back Benjamin Mendy (knee) and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (Achilles) are still out.
Wolves have no fresh injury concerns.
Rui Patricio, Matt Doherty and Romain Saiss are expected to return after being rested for Monday's win over Liverpool.
Diogo Jota may lose his place to Ivan Cavaleiro after a below-par return against the Reds following almost a month out with a hamstring problem.
- Manchester City have won five of their last six home top-flight meetings with Wolves (D1), since a 2-3 defeat in December 1979.
- Wolves have picked up one win in their last 10 matches with Man City in all competitions (D3 L6), a 2-1 win at Molineux in the Premier League in October 2010.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 34 home Premier League games against newly promoted sides (W30 D4) since a 0-2 defeat to Reading in February 2007 under Stuart Pearce.
- Manchester City haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last six Premier League home games, their longest run without one at the Etihad since a run of eight ending in December 2015.
- Manchester City have scored at least twice in each of their last 12 Premier League home games. Only four teams have ever had a longer such run, most recently Man City themselves between September 2017 and February 2018 (13).
- Wolves have lost seven of their last eight top-flight games played on Monday (W1), including all three such games in the Premier League.
- Wolves have won nine points from their seven games against 'big six' sides this season (W2 D3 L2), more than any other side outside of those six clubs.
- Wolves are one of only two clubs in Pep Guardiola's managerial career he has faced more than once but never beaten (P2 W0 D2 L0), along with Celtic.
City struggled at Wolves earlier in the season. Nuno Espirito Santo's side have done great, they've come up and had a real go. They have been an absolute credit to the Premier League. City look back in their groove after following up the win over Liverpool with emphatic cup victories over Rotherham and Burton. Those kind of games are dangerous because you can pick up bad habits in them, habits which a side of Wolves' calibre will punish. City have to be careful, but they should get the job done.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)