Wolves vs Manchester City: Expect Haaland to Net In Narrow Win
Saturday 17th September - 14:30
Having won the Premier League in four of the past five seasons, you might have been of the belief that Pep Guardiola was under no undue pressure to freshen up his Etihad Stadium squad.
However, in doing so, the Spaniard is now in possession of arguably the best squad in European football, and as well as mounting a likely Premier League title challenge, Manchester City are now very handily placed to bring an end to their ongoing pursuit of a Champions League crown.
If your Premier League betting strategy included a wager on Erling Haaland ending the season as top-scorer, then frankly, you have an almost certain payout coming to you next May.
The Norwegian has taken to life at Man City like the proverbial duck to water, so much so that even pundits who knew the former Borussia Dortmund man would do well could never have predicted just how well he’d adjust to life in England.
Haaland’s latest goal, his 13th in nine competitive fixtures, came in the form of a frankly ridiculously good finish against his former team in City’s 2-1 Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund.
While the 22-year-old is chiefly known for being deadly from short range, Haaland being adept at being in the right place at the right time; the midweek goal was a reminder he can also score high-quality goals also.
Man City are handily placed in the title hunt, having secured four wins and two draws from their opening six matches. Their total of 14 points is all the more impressive when you consider their main rivals, Liverpool, are already some five points behind.
Draws at Newcastle United and Aston Villa were more a case of the respective hosts putting in top-class performances and not a stain on the obvious talent Guardiola’s side has on display, and it would take a brave punter to back any other team ahead of Man City in the Premier League title chase.
Even the loss of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko haven’t significantly weakened the City squad, and Guardiola still has plenty of depth in his armoury, and frankly, even his second-XI would make a good fist of a top-four finish.
Same Old Issues
City travel to Molineux to face a Wolves side that is suffering with an age-old problem, a lack of cutting edge up front. In six Premier League games, Bruno Lage’s side have managed just three goals, and this is an issue that has been a thorn in the club’s set-up for some years now.
Raul Jimenez is the closest Lage has to a prolific marksman, but even the Mexican is struggling to find the net with any real regularity; the 31-year-old hasn’t scored in his last 11 Premier League games.
Fortunately, Lage knows how to marshall the club’s defence, and that’s why they have managed to still secure a decent amount of points under the Portuguese boss.
Wolves moved to bring in veteran forward Diego Costa to help boost their attack, but the move may well end up looking a bit like a desperate exercise. There’s no denying the former Chelsea man, at his peak, was a feared Premier League finisher, but the 33-year-old is not the same player he once was.
Man City to win 1-0 and Erling Haaland to Score the First Goal - 19/1
This double, from Grosvenor Sports, is a solid one. While City can score goals for fun, Wolves are a well-drilled outfit, and the chances of Lage’s side being thumped are pretty low, which is why this double is tempting.