Manchester City and the rest of the Premier League are ready to resume after pausing to pay respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II. Now the Manc Blues are off to Wolverhampton for a match at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers. With a now even more jam-packed schedule, it can be difficult to keep up with the opposition. So I’ve enlisted Thomas Baugh of Wolves Blog to help get us reacquainted with the Wanderers.
CITYZENDuck: Last season the Wanderers finished just inside the top half of the league at 10th. Wolves are currently 14th in the Premier League table after getting their first victory of the new term over Southampton on 3 September. Since then, the club have completed the signing of former Chelsea and Athletico Madrid striker Diego Costa on a free transfer. What do you see as realistic expectations for Bruno Lage’s side this year?
Thomas Baugh: I think it’s realistic to expect Wolves to be in the top half of the table. The summer transfer window was good, with the squad now balanced much better. We brought Matheus Nunes from Sporting Lisbon - a player Pep was raving about last season - along with Goncalo Guedes, Nathan Collins, Diego Costa and a few others. These high-level players should supplement the talented squad we had in place already. Bruno Lage now just has to find the winning formula. It’s been a shaky start but hopefully, we can grow as the season progresses.
CD: Wolves have just 3 goals from their first 6 matches with Daniel Podence grabbing 2 of those. Will the addition of Costa be enough to help them find a more consistent scoring touch?
TB: I’m not expecting Costa to get 20 goals, but he should help. We need more physicality up front to bring our talented wide players into the game and he could be the man. Podence, Neto, Guedes and Traore should all be contributing more and hopefully, our switch to a back four will begin to give greater attacking returns with more players committed to attacking the penalty area.
CD: Most football fans will be well aware of Costa and Ruben Neves. Who on the Wolves roster should City supporters know more about ahead of this Saturday’s match at Molineux?
TB: Max Kilman has been outstanding for over a year now at the heart of our defence. It’s going to be tough for him on Saturday up against Haaland and all your other great attacking players, but his partnership with Nathan Collins has been impressive so far. Pedro Neto looks full of energy but it hasn’t quite clicked for him yet. If he finds form he can be a very dangerous outlet.
CD: And finally, what is your prediction for this weekend’s match in Wolverhampton?
TB: Realistically, you’ve got to predict a City win. We’re still not offering up enough as an attacking force and it’s fanciful to think we’ll keep a cleansheet. I’ll back us to score but 3-1 City.