By William Hill
27th December 2019
We are right in the thick of the action-packed period of festive football in the Premier League, having just come off the back of the Boxing Day roster of fixtures. Before heading into the weekend, though, Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City outfit will be making the relatively short trip to Molineux to take on a Wolves side who are more than holding their own this season.
Win or bust for Manchester City
Despite going behind at Leicester last time out, courtesy of Jamie Vardy, the reigning Premier League champions came back with aplomb to take all three points thanks to a subsequent trio of goals. In fact, Manchester City have won their last four in all competitions since stumbling against rivals Manchester United and go into this game 42/100 favourites.
This is an absolute must win for Pep who, if he still harbours any realistic hopes of defending the title, has little option but to target all of the remaining 60 points available. It’s not like they do not possess the quality in their squad to pull off such a feat but, instead, it will likely come down whether or not they can handle the pressure.
Unlike certain teams in the league who have been mostly reliant on one or two individuals to get the goals, City have a handful of outstanding goalscorers to call upon. They have the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Riyadh Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and that’s even before you consider that Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have bagged an incredible 42 goals between them so far this season.
Aguero to score first has been enhanced from 14/5 to 7/2 and could certainly be worth a shot.
Can Wolves claw their way to a point?
Wolves have undoubtedly been over-performing all season, much to their credit, and there’s little sign that their form will relent in the immediate future. Now they prepare for a visit from City, a daunting prospect at the worst of times, but they have reason to feel confident. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have the current bragging rights, having dispatched City 2-0 when these sides last met.
That said, it should be remembered that Wolves are still relative new boys in the Premier League and as such are lacking in experience – something that often shows in the second-half of the season. Were City’s circumstances different, they could have a decent chance of being overturned at Molineux but given the desperation with which the visitors need all three points, it seems a foregone conclusion.