Manchester City’s march towards retaining the Premier League has started emphatically. Their 6-1 demolition of Huddersfield last week probably could’ve been bigger – the suicidal tactics of David Wagner did nothing to help matters for the Terriers – which will not be a welcome thought for Nuno’s Wolverhampton Wanderers.
After much hype following their summer splurge, the West Midlands side have experienced a stuttering start to life back in the Premier League. A home draw to 10-man Everton followed by a 2-0 defeat at 10-man Leicester will slightly worry Nuno; his side’s inability to capitalise on such major advantages will not serve them well against a team as unforgiving as City.
This being said, I cannot see another Huddersfield-style rout at Molineux. Nuno will have seen Wagner’s disastrous high-press and will hopefully learn from it. He also took City to penalties in the EFL Cup last season and will hope to replicate that performance on Saturday.
I have little doubt City will win this at a canter, though they still look a little fallible at conceding soft goals against the run of play; Huddersfield’s consolation a prime example. They travel to a well-organised team who will frustrate them for periods, but ultimately City will prevail. I’m backing Manchester City to win by two goals.
The amazing thing about City’s title win last season (amongst many others) is that they reached the 100-point mark without a left-back. Benjamin Mendy’s ACL injury ruled him out for virtually the entire season, yet that seemingly disastrous blow did nothing to derail the Guardiola train.
Mendy has already shown us this season what a destructive force he is; using his ox-like strength and pace to power past the opposition before rifling in a cross with laser-like accuracy. He plays more like a left-winger than left-back, as shown with his four assists in just two matches so far.
Mendy turns City into an even more potent force going forward than last year, and I’m backing him to register one assist or more against Wolves.
Wolves will want to frustrate Manchester City for as long as possible. Their three-at-the-back system will be put under immense pressure against the champions, with Nuno likely to deploy his wingbacks as deeply as possible.
As previously mentioned, City’s quality will ultimately prevail, particularly due to the embarrassment of riches they have on the bench. Aguero, Jesus, Sane, B. Silva, D. Silva, Mahrez and Sterling are all rotatable, so they may punish a tired Wolves side later on.
My final tip is for the second half to be the highest scoring half.