I’ll be glad to get this one out the way.
You’d be stupid to say we’ve got no chance, given our record against City is won two, drawn one, lost two since returning to the Premier League, but this seems like the toughest assignment so far.
We’re not quite as good as we have been and they’re in a golden moment with an army of brilliant players.
We’ll be banking up and closing down spaces though, which is still a Nuno speciality and the longer we can keep them out, the greater the chance they’ll surrender something on the counter.
Stranger things have happened.
20 straight victories. 27 games unbeaten. What else is there to say?
Just before they started reeling off the wins I did actually wonder whether Pep had lost the magic. They looked tired and workmanlike – solid but far from spectacular.
Then Ruben Dias began to establish himself in defence and Joao Cancelo emerged as a playmaker from right-back. Lift-off.
Often playing without a recognised striker they’ve looked even better, giving freedom to the likes of Foden, Silva and in particular, Gundogan, to attack the box.
I watched them take West Brom apart in one of the best first half performances I’ve seen in a long while and they’ve done similar to plenty of others.
More recently though, they’ve been grinding out narrower wins, with Arsenal and West Ham pushing them harder.
Most impressively of all, they seem able to swap four or five in and out all over the pitch and remain just as formidable.
Whatever happens tomorrow, they’re going to win the league. Both the domestic cups and the Champions League remain in play too and I wouldn’t be betting against them in any of those competitions.
The home end
I lifted the following from the intro to the pre-match thread on the Blue Moon Forum.
I think most of you will agree with me if asked to point out the best performances of this season for us and Chelsea (A) in January would probably top the list … but Wolves (A), our first game of the season won’t be far behind. Yes we have been winning games in a row recently and there’s that consistency which wasn’t there at the start of the season but that swashbuckling style and fluidity in movement all over the pitch in the first half of that game was surely a thing of beauty and that sent alarm bells ringing across the league that we meant business. Sure, we didn’t follow it through in our early season on form but our performance in that reverse fixture remains right up there amongst one of the best this season. Where the two teams are now … play half that good and it’d be good enough for all three points!
I’m not entirely certain about the personnel available (Nuno was typically cryptic in his pre-match press conference), but I’d be playing an extra man in midfield for obvious reasons.
If we’re sacrificing an attacker to make that happen I think it’s got to be Willian Jose, as the other two can conjure something out of nothing.
Nuno gave Vitinha and Hoever a run-out at Old Trafford in a similarly defensive setup, so he might consider the same again if he wants to preserve legs for the more winnable game at Villa at the weekend.
It will be interesting to see what he does.
Last time out
Man City won the opening fixture of their season at Molineux back in August, starting fast and deservedly getting a few goals. But after Raul got one back we had chances to get a point before Jesus sealed the deal with the last kick of the game.
We won at The Etihad last season thanks to two goals from Adama Traore, who ended a long sequence without finding the net. He couldn’t, could he?
Well done to Matt Cook, PeteRobbo, Wokywolf, Bedford Lone Wolf, Iceni Wolf, BG, Woodend wolf and Martin1957 who all correctly predicted a 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park.
Bedford Wolf now has the outright lead in the overall table at the end of Gameweek 26.
As always if you’d like to join in, simply leave your prediction for this game in the comment section below, which is where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!