Manchester City travel to Wolves, with both teams looking to put their midweek League Cup exits behind them. The blues lost their 100% start to the season with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, while Wolves threw away a two-goal lead at Championship side Ipswich to crash out 3-2 and both will be eager to win this match.
City have won all six of their Premier League games so far this season and take on a Wolves side that is struggling once more and find themselves near the foot of the table. The match will also see a quick return to Molineux for City midfielder Matheus Nunes, who joined the blues just before the transfer deadline.
Wolves are not exactly in their best form going into the match against City. They have won just one and lost four of their opening six matches and sit in 16th place in the league. For context on how poorly their season has started, Only the poor form of the promoted sides are keeping them safe...for now.
Wolves started their season with a controversial defeat to the Stretford Rangers. They had chances but couldn’t convert and were denied what many consider to be a clear penalty late on.
They had no such excuses in their first home match of the season as Brighton hammered them 4-1, and their only win to date is a 1-0 victory at Everton. Even then, they had to wait until the 87th minute to score the winner. Since then, they’ve lost 3-2 at Crystal Palace, then 3-1 at home to Liverpool. Their last league game ended 1-1 at new boys Luton Town.
Arrivals and Departures
Part of Wolves’ problems this season has been the integration of new players as well as allowing many of the stars that helped retain their Premier League status to leave.
Striker Matheus Cunha was the most expensive signing of the summer from Atletico Madrid. However, one goal from seven matches is not the return Wolves were looking for, Midfielder Jean-Ricner Bellegarde Santiago Bueno and Boubacar Traore all make up Wolves summer spending.
Tommy Doyle went to Molineux as part of the deal that took Nunes to City, but it’s the departures that have really hit the Black Country side. In addition to Nunes, Ruben Neves, defenders Nathan Collins and Conor Coady, wingers Daniel Podence and Adama Traore and strikers Diego Costa and Raul Jiminez, along with Joao Moutinho have left the club.
Attacking midfielder poses the biggest threat in front of goal. The South Korean has bagged four goals from seven games so far this season and has a shot accuracy and goal conversion rate of 57%. Sasa Kalajdzic and Matt Doherty both have two while the money summer signing Cunha has just the one.
However, the Brazilian has attempted the most shots on target with ten, with Pedro Neto getting in on the act with nine shots and Fabio Silva has eight. However, with 27 shots between them, the trio have managed just three goals.
Neto, however, is leading the assist chart, along with Pablo Sarabia, who have four each. Neto has created the most chances with 14, while Sarabia has ten. The duo pose the biggest threat from midfield, with Neto attempting 187 passes, completing 157, with his midfield counterpart attempting 147, completing 117.
City will need to stop one or both of these if they are to get a result at Molineux.
Gary O’Neill is the man in charge at Wolves, having been appointed in August. Sadly, it has not been a fairytale beginning for the former Bournemouth boss, who has presided over eight matches in total, winning just two and losing five, giving O’Neill a disappointing win ratio of just 25%.
Last Time at Molineux
City devoured the Wolves in last season’s encounter at Molineux. Jack Grealish gave City the lead in the first minute, before Erling Haaland doubled the lead after just 16 minutes. Although it looked like City would better their 5-1 battering of Wolves the previous season.
But, it wasn’t to be, with only one goal to come in the second half, thanks to Phil Foden, who scored in the 69th minute.
Played For Both
There have been surprisingly few players to have moved between the two clubs, with Nunes being just one of the few.
Steve Daley moved from Molineux to Maine Road in 1979 for £1.4m. Daley arrived with a big reputation but struggled to make a true impression and moved to Seattle Sounders two years later for just £300,000.
Goalkeeper Mike Stowell joined City on loan from Everton in 1988, the second keeper to be signed on loan that season after Bobby Mimms had spent a month at Maine Road earlier in the season. Stowell joined Wolves on loan a year later, before moving to Molineux permanently in 1990.
Joleon Lescott started his career at Wolves before moving to City in 2009 via a three-year spell at Everton. Lescott spent five years with the blues, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup, the only trophies the defender won in his career.