WATCH OUR PREVIEW FOR WOLVES V MANCHESTER CITY
Wolves will be without suspended midfielder Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, while loanee Tommy Doyle is ineligible to face his parent club. Otherwise, manager Gary O’Neil has a fully-fit squad at his disposal.
Manchester City midfielder Rodri serves the second game of a three-match ban. Bernardo Silva and John Stones are close to returning from respective leg and muscle issues, while Kevin de Bruyne remains City’s only long-term absentee.
Goalkeeper Jose Sa’s long-term contract extension is “fantastic” for the club: “He’s made some big saves for us already this season, he’s really good around the place and in the dressing room, and a good guy. So I’m really pleased we managed to get that one done.”
Reflecting on his first six games in charge: “From my point of view, there’s loads of work to do. I understand my responsibility to get the best out of this group, which I will. Six games, some things have gone against us and we’ve had some good spells.”
O’Neil expects Manchester City to be “a big task” but he isn’t looking at the game as a free hit: “I don’t see them as free hits. It’s a really good opportunity to see where we’re at, give a good account of ourselves, try and be the best version of ourselves, and see where that gets you on the day.”
On stopping a team who haven’t dropped a single point this season: “Teams have tried all different sorts of ways. Last season, we went man for man against them in the home game, and had some relative success in that. But they’re capable of scoring from those moments as well.”
O’Neil expects “talented” Matheus Nunes to play but he “isn’t too sure” what reception the Portugal midfielder will get from the supporters, after leaving the club this summer.
Fabio Silva is “still finding his way and O’Neil feels there shouldn’t be as much expectation of players around the 21-year-old’s age as they haven’t played too much in the Premier League.”
MATCH STATS & FACTS
- Manchester City have won the past six Premier League meetings, scoring 19 goals and conceding just three.
- Wolves have won just four of their 22 games against City this century (D3, L15). Three of those four victories have come at Molineux.
- Pep Guardiola’s side won both games 3-0 last season, with Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scoring in their last trip to Molineux in September 2022.
- Wolverhampton are seeking to end a run of four games without a win in all competitions (D1, L3).
- They have lost five of their eight matches this season, drawing one and winning two.
- Wolves could lose their opening three league fixtures at Molineux for just the third time, having previously done so in the fourth tier in 1986-87 and the 2021-22 Premier League.
- Gary O’Neil’s side have conceded 12 goals in six top-flight games this term; only Burnley and Sheffield United, with 13 and 17 respectively, have a worse record.
- Wolves have failed to score in just one of their past 12 Premier League home matches, a 1-0 defeat to Gary O’Neil’s Bournemouth side in February.
- Pedro Neto has scored or set up a goal in each of his last four Premier League matches, with one goal and four assists.
- Mario Lemina is set to make his 100th Premier League appearance.
- Manchester City are vying to win their opening seven Premier League matches for the first time.
- The previous two sides to win their first seven top-flight fixtures were Liverpool in 2019-20 and Chelsea in 2005-06, and both sides went on to lift the title.
- City have gone on a seven-game winning run from the start of a league campaign just once before, 126 years ago in the second tier.
- Pep Guardiola has won 40 of his past 44 Premier League clashes with English managers (D3, L1), including a 4-1 victory over Gary O’Neil’s Bournemouth in February.
- Erling Haaland scored four times in two Premier League appearances against Wolves last season, including a hat-trick in a 3-0 victory at the Etihad.
- Kalvin Phillips has suffered defeat on three of his five starts for Manchester City.
Referee: Craig Pawson. Assistants: Darren Cann, Marc Perry. Fourth official: James Bell. VAR: Robert Jones.
The match kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 30th September at Molineux, it is not shown live on Uk television.