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Sky Blue News: Wolves Previews, Haaland Hardware, Bellingham Battle, and More...

Matchday headlines curated for you from Bitter and Blue

It’s Matchday and City have the early kickoff slot. Grab some caffeine and get your morning dose of headlines before the match gets underway.

Pep Guardiola gives Man City injury update on Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker - Daniel Murphy - Manchester Evening News

Great news from the boss. LaPorte is getting close, Walker even closer.

Manchester City will return to Premier League action for the first time in two weeks this weekend when they travel to the Black Country to face Wolves. Though the domestic calendar and been disrupted following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the Blues have started their Champions League campaign strongly in the meantime with victories over Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund.

The results have been even more impressive considering City have been light on options at the back with Laporte and Walker both sidelined. Laporte hasn’t played a match at all this season after undergoing knee surgery in May to fix an issue he played on through in the final games of last season.

Walker picked up a knock in the last Premier League outing, a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, and Guardiola has provided an update on both of their conditions: “Aymeric (Laporte) is back in training but is not ready,” he said.

“Kyle (Walker) is getting better but I am not sure if tomorrow he will be ready. We will see in training this afternoon this afternoon.”

Pep Talk: “The big teams have to adapt..” - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Saul gives us the highlights from the manager’s pre-match presser.

Pep Guardiola is back n the talking chars as he talked about match congestion, injuries, Wolves and much more.

Let’s dive straight in:

On congestion

“We have less time but it is what it is,” he said.

“The big teams have to adapt. The circumstances is what it is. We are no exception, it happened in the past.

“What I have seen is different from other seasons, when they sat back. They still have counter attack actions but now have added a different approach.

“I respect a lot what Wolves have done in the past but also now what they are trying to do. I like many, many things.”

On injuries

“Kyle is getting better, but I am not sure if he is ready for tomorrow,”

“We will see this afternoon.

“Aymer is back in training but is not ready and Kalvin Phillips (who returned in midweek) is a little better.”

Julian Alvarez to START this weekend, Ruben Dias to return - Predicted XI: Wolves vs Manchester City (Premier League) - Srinivas Sadhanand - City Xtra

Srinivas likes Alvarez to start along side Haaland. It is a sentiment shared throughout the Blue side of Manchester.

After making a fruitful contribution to Manchester City’s comeback against Edin Terzic’s side from the bench, Bernardo Silva could replace Ilkay Gundogan in midfield.

Taking home his second successive Man of the Match award in the Champions League against the German side, Kevin De Bruyne will likely start for Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday afternoon.

With both Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez adding a ton of energy to Manchester City’s limp display as substitutes against Dortmund, the pair may be selected as the wide pair against Wolves.

After doing his best impression of Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Johan Cruyff with an acrobatic winner against his former side, it is a no-brainer to start the inevitable Erling Haaland.

Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Wolves vs Manchester City Preview - Daniel Gallagher-Parker - City Report

We are all hungry for more of the Alverez/Haaland partnership.

There are a lot of questions regarding the starting lineup ahead of kick-off. Guardiola stated that his substitutes on Wednesday, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, and Julian Alvarez changed the pace of the game when they came on. Midweek starters Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish, meanwhile, didn’t have the best of games before being removed from the action just before the hour.

Alvarez is City’s second-highest goalscorer, with three goals in exactly 200 minutes of competitive football for his new side this season; averaging a goal every 67 minutes. Any time he has played, the Argentine has shown why he was promoted directly to the first team instead of being sent out on loan.

With Haaland ahead of him at centre-forward, it will be hard to get minutes up top, but he has taken advantage of the small number of minutes he has had so far, whether it be in place of the Norwegian or playing either side or just behind him.

Erling Braut Haaland wins Premier League Player of the Month for August - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole

Premier League POTM number 1 is in the trophy case for our Nordic Meat Shield. Certainly the first of many.

Haaland scored a brace on his Premier League debut to help City win 2-0 away against West Ham United on the opening weekend of the new season.

The Norway international drew a blank in front of goal against Bournemouth, although he did register an assist in the 4-0 victory over the Cherries before scoring the equaliser in a 3-3 draw away at Newcastle United.

Haaland then became only the sixth player in Premier League history to score back-to-back hat-tricks, taking the match ball home in victories against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest.

Haaland’s impressive start in the English top flight has been rewarded, and he becomes the first player to claim the accolade in his first month in the division since Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes in February 2020.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland named Premier League Player of the Month - Harry Winters - City Xtra

I for one can’t wait until he adjusts to the Prem. Patience everyone, it will happen.

Haaland has scored in his past six consecutive matches for Manchester City, most recently against his former club Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League.

The Norwegian acrobatically put the Sky Blues into the lead in the 84th minute, as Pep Guardiola’s side came from behind to move three points clear at the top of their Champions League Group.

Haaland has scored an impressive 13 goals for Manchester City in all competitions so far, nine of which came in the opening month of the campaign.

Highlights included a debut brace against West Ham United at the London Stadium and back-to-back hat-tricks at the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland’s first Premier League hat-trick came against Crystal Palace, as City came from 2-0 down to beat the Eagles 4-2.

Report: Manchester City Will Battle Liverpool For Jude Bellingham Signing - Dylan McBennett - City Transfer Room

City may be readying a move for Bellingham next summer. Keep that Dortmund to City pipeline moving.

Jude Bellingham is set to be the hottest topic on the transfer market this summer for the biggest clubs in England, and Manchester City are ready to rival Liverpool for the signing of the midfielder.

Liverpool are reportedly frontrunners to sign the player at the moment, but Pep Guardiola’s men are ready to rival Jurgen Klopp’s men for the signature of Bellingham

Pep Guardiola was present to watch the players performance last night against City, as he scored the first goal in a 2-1 win for the Blue’s.

According to The Daily Mail, Manchester City are ready to rival Liverpool for the signing of English midfielder Jude Bellingham next summer. Manchester City are keen to add a central midfielder to their ranks, and Bellingham would be the perfect addition.

Jude Bellingham could be Pep Guardiola’s perfect Man City transfer next summer - Alex Brotherton - Manchester Evening News

Pep likes what he has seen from the England youngster. Surely he would be open to playing for the best manger in the league.

Pep Guardiola certainly appreciated the brilliance of Bellingham’s performance, singling him out for praise during his post-match press conference.

“I was impressed three seasons ago when he [Bellingham] was 17, he is able to defensively follow Gundogan or Kevin [de Bruyne] in the pockets, in transition he is fast.

While City’s main focus in this summer’s transfer market was in attack - they won the race to sign Erling Haaland - and in defence - they brought in Manuel Akanji and Sergio Gomez - they expected to invest in the midfield next summer. With Ilkay Gundogan’s current contract set to expire at the end of the season and De Bruyne not getting any younger, Bellingham could be the ideal signing. Akanji certainly seemed to think a move for his former teammate could be a possibility.

“We are not, we’re not really here”: Etihad or Emptyhad? - Laura Graves - Man City Square

And finally... Laura has the real lowdown on the Etihad experience. No plastic fan slander allowed.

Manchester City’s away atmosphere is often praised. However, there is a bizarre perception that home support is poor; cue emptyhad and empty seats remarks.

Whilst there are occasions where the stadium isn’t completely full, more often than not, it’s packed. Manchester City still hold the record for biggest attendance of a home game set in 1934 with a whopping 84,569 packed into Maine Road.

Some Spurs fans might argue that they set a new record in 2016. However, that was a game played at Wembley Stadium – not their home ground, which was still being built.

The atmosphere at the Etihad has the ability to give a fan emotional whiplash depending on the day. But I guess that’s football.

There are periods where the fans are so much in awe of the football they are blessed to witness up close, that it can be a little mellow.

However, the south stand keep it going (“Ringleaders)! They, along with the players, get the whole stadium going, and when it gets going, it’s beautiful.

There you have it. Shake those cobwebs from your head and get ready for Wolves v City. Be sure to follow @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter for all the action. And come right back here after the match for all the reactions. Come on City!!!!