Wolves v Man City Preview

NORWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Manchester City Manager Roberto Mancini looks on with Assistant David Platt (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester City at Carrow Road on April 14, 2012 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Manchester City travel to the Midlands on Sunday afternoon in a game of great importance to both Manchester City and Wolves. The target 3 points, with both sides desperate to win but for very contrasting reasons.

After the jump we'll take a look at some team news, what this game means to each club and a prediction.

Wolves v Man city

Sunday 22nd April 4pm

Team News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17718140

Manchester City have a full squad to choose from. A partnership of Aguero and Tevez will probably be continued for this fixture with the supporting cast of 4 midfield players comprising of Barry, Toure, Silva and Nasri. Mancini likes to shuffle his pack so don't be suprised by any changes.

Wolves will hand a full debut to Dorus De Vries in goals after Hennessy's injury. They have an otherwise full squad minus only Jamie O'Hara and Stephen Hunt.

Notes

For Wolves a defeat would mean relegation to the Championship and the unique cruelty that brings in the form of a long 46 game campaign, filled with away trips to the lesser lights of British football.

It can be a difficult adjustment to drop down a division. Manager's speak of weekly press conferences populated only by local journalists, the absence of the big press boys only serves to highlight the cold reality of recent relegation.

Parachute payments help, dwindling crowds don't. A much reduced wage bill to cope with new financial realities mean the transfers away from the club of the better players, in this case Doyle, Fletcher and Hennessy will in all probability be sold.

It is a difficult division to gain promotion from. A club can gamble like Newcastle or West Ham but this risk can bring it's own terror. Fail to win promotion and the future could be catastrophic. All in all this could be the weekend that Wolves fall through that trap door to the relative anonymity of the Championship.

No more bright Premier League lights, just a long slog in a dog fight of a division.

For Manchester City at the high end of the table, a win may be just as crucial. With Manchester United kicking off earlier in the day. With a 2pm kick off and the final result just in pre 4pm, Manchester City should know what their new reality is. It may well be an 8 point deficit with only 4 fixtures to play. It may be less than 8 points, and if it is, this game against Wolves will be a crucial one.

A win coupled with United dropping any points would cut the original deficit of 5 points that stood on Sunday morning. It will bring renewed hope and vigour to a season that looked to be fizzling out after the Arsenal debacle. The title race looked over at that stage, but this is a strange season and it may just have a few twists to come yet.

Despite what Roberto Mancini says the title race is still alive and it may well be even more so come 6pm. For Wolves, this may be the end of the road so far as staying in the division goes. A strong and recently resurgent Man City will probably have too much on the day and will condemn Wolves with an eventually comfortable victory.

Prediction

Wolves 0-3 Man City

Betting Wolves 11/1 Draw 11/2 Man City 2/9

Man City to win 3-0 13/2

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