The festive fixtures have not been kind to Wolves, as their first match of December was against Jurgen Klopp’s relentless Liverpool, and after a solid defensive day, and some luck, kept Klopp’s potent reds at bay, before Divock Origi struck deep into injury time.
Wolves have inconsistent form in this fixture. A masterclass in the 2019/2020 saw Wolves win 2-0 at the Etihad, with Adama Traore, who was deployed as a right wing-back scored two late goals, putting a serious dent in Manchester City’s title run.
But, last season, despite equalising through a Conor Coady strike in the 61st minute, City ran out 4-1 winners, in a disappointing season for Wolves, culminating in Nuno Espiritio Santo leaving.
The club bought in Bruno Lage, who has kept the formation, but Wolves look more dangerous now.
Meanwhile, Manchester City are their usual, death by a thousand cuts selves.
Despite a blip in midweek where they lost 2-1 to German outfit RB Leipzig, City have been in good form this season, and are firmly in the title race.
The last time they dropped points in the league was on October 30th, as Crystal Palace ran out 2-0 winners, and since then they have decimated everyone in their way, even beating super team PSG who can boast the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in their ranks.
Here’s five players to watch out for this Saturday.
5 - Rayan Ait-Nouri
The left-wing back came off to a standing ovation from the Wolves faithful, after doing a magnificent job of keeping the electric winger at bay all game. Proving his defensive credentials and showing good attacking intent, Ait-Nouri could enjoy this game against Man City as Kyle Walker can sometimes be defensively vulnerable. At only 20-years-old, this kid can go far.
4 - Romain Saiss
An unsung hero in this Wolves squad. Part of the solid defensive unit that kept out Liverpool for over an hour and a half, Saiss is often deployed as the left centre back in the three man defence, due to him being left footed. He made a world-class tackle of Mohamed Salah, to preserve Wolves’ first half clean sheet, and will need to be on high alertness once more this Saturday.
3 - Leander Dendoncker
It’s not nailed on that Dendoncker will start, and it will be up to Lage to decide if he wants the technical composure of Joao Moutinho, or the grit and defensive capabilities of Dendoncker. With Ruben Neves likely to play, and Moutinho’s ageing legs potentially being a negative factor as Wolves will have to a lot of work off the ball, it’s likely this man will play. A more defensive midfielder, complimenting how Neves operates, Dendoncker’s duty will be to simply nulify the attack, and will have Foden, Silva and Grealish to deal with. If Wolves get anything from this match, Dendoncker will have had a good game.
2 - Adama Traore
Everyone knows this mans capabilities now. Liverpool did a wonderful job keeping him quiet. With good memories on this ground, Adama could be the key for Wolves. His pace and power is unmatched, and coupled with his wonderful dribbling makes him dangerous. His final ball and finishing does often leave a lot to be desired, but he has a good relationship with Raul Jiminez, and can look to tee him up.
1 - Bernardo Silva
What a revelation Bernardo Silva has been this season. He was rumoured to be wanting out of Manchester by Guardiola convinced him to stay, and he’s turned into an animal in the league, and is in “who’s the best player in the league” debates. A brace against Watford, including a wonderful curling shot, he’s a man in form. His performance may hinge on the chance that Kevin De Bruyne starts. Jamie Redknapp said on Saturday Night Football that he plays better without De Bruyne, as he’s the focal point.
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