'Why Always Me' screams Mick ahead of City visit!
Wolves v Man City - Wednesday 19:45 - live on Sky Sports 2
Wolverhampton Wanderers avoided a sixth straight league defeat at the weekend, coming back from two goals down against Swansea to earn a 2-2 draw at Molineux. Those two late goals from Kevin Doyle and Jamie O'Hara may have lifted the pressure on under-fire Mick McCarthy but there is no respite for the struggling Wanderers, who take on Premier League leaders Manchester City in the fourth round of the Carling Cup.
The match is the first of back-to-back encounters between the sides, with the men from the Black Country travelling to Eastlands on Saturday to resume hostilities, on that occasion in the league.
Despite Saturday's morale boosting comeback at Molineux, it is no surprise to see Wolves installed as the 5/1 underdogs. Mick McCarthy's men took advantage of some seriously generous Swansea defending to take a point from that match, generosity that I'm sure will not be afforded to them when City roll into town. The Citizens will be full to the brim with confidence after their 6-1 derby day demolition of United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Roberto Mancini's men were irresistible, mesmerizingly conducted by the Spanish magician David Silva, as they cut open the Man United backline again and again. The visitors can be backed to at 8/15 to make it consecutive wins.
Sadly for Wolves' fans it looks like Steven Fletcher will still be absent after missing the last two games with a calf injury. Ronald Zubar and Kevin Foley are also unavailable but there are no fresh injuries to worry McCarthy. He may decide to go all out and attack what could be an under strength City team, but in my opinion, the Yorkshireman will choose to rest a few of his first team players ahead of Saturday. That could mean a starting berth for Sam Vokes (12/1 first scorer) ahead of either Sylvain Ebanks Blake (9/1 first scorer) and Kevin Doyle (9/1 first scorer) after the Welshman impressed recently from the bench.
Manchester City have no new injury concerns either but that will not stop Roberto Mancini from ringing the changes at Molineux. The Italian is likely to utilise his full squad which could mean recalls for the likes of Adam Johnson (9/4 anytime scorer), Aleksandr Kolarov (5/1 anytime scorer) and Samir Nasri (15/8 anytime scorer).
Edin Dzeko (4/1 first scorer, 1/1 anytime) was a substitute at Old Trafford but when introduced, played a pivotal role in putting United to the sword. The Bosnian striker scored two goals in little over 20 minutes and should be rewarded with a place upfront.
Goals should not be a problem for these two teams on the night. Wolves have notched an impressive 17 goals in their last five games in this competition while City have scored 38 times in 13 games this season. Therefore, over 3.5 goals in the Total Match Goals market could hold the value, priced at 13/8, while over 4.5 can be backed at 7/2.
The men from Manchester, who reached the final of this competition three times in six years during the early seventies , will want to overcome a recent hoodoo that has seen them reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup just twice in the past ten years.
Although Wolves do possess an impressive recent record against Man City at Molineux, I cannot look past an away win. Man City to win and over 2.5 goals in the Match x Goals market at 19/20 appeals more than the simple match betting, so I would back that along with City -1 goal at 5/4.