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Men's Team

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Wolves v City: One for the purist?

MERCI, MENDY!: Sergio Aguero thanks Benjamin Mendy for his assist, having completed his hat-trick with a glorious flick

MERCI, MENDY!: Sergio Aguero thanks Benjamin Mendy for his assist, having completed his hat-trick with a glorious flick

It could be a game the neutrals will relish as two teams who play free-flowing, attacking football meet at Molineux - and here are five talking points to mull over...

See if you agree...

1Dances with Wolves?

City know all about Wolves’ capabilities after last season’s Carabao Cup clash at the Etihad.

The-then Championship side were impressive from start to finish against the Blues and were more than a shade unlucky not to win the game in normal time.

Despite City having 29 shots, Wolves caused plenty of problems and found a way through the home defence on several occasions, only for Claudio Bravo and/or a lack of composure scupper their chances.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive City's nail-biting Carabao Cup win over Wolves

Highlights

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City v Wolves: Extended highlights

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The Blues went through on penalties after being held 0-0, but it was a close-run thing – and no doubt Wolves will take great confidence from that game when they host the champions later today.

2Portugal: The men

Portuguese will be the language of choice at Molineux on Saturday.

If Bernardo, Ederson, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus play for City, and Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa, Ruben Vinagre, Ruben Neves, Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho all line up for Wolves, there will be 10 native speakers on the pitch at the same time – something of a Premier League record?

LANGUAGE OF THE GAME: Portuguese, please...

That’s not to mention Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo.

3Rotation?

We won’t know the City starting XI until an hour before kick-off, but it looks likely Pep Guardiola will look to keep his squad fresh and on their toes.

Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi could feature while Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling will all be hoping to get a recall.

ACTION MAN: Riyad Mahrez set to return?

Though two strikers worked well against Huddersfield, perhaps just one will be used at Molineux – at least initially – or then again Pep could field an unchanged XI!

4Unlucky Wolves?

Wolves could easily have been level with City on six points going into this game.

Against Everton and Leicester, the Black and Gold had more possession and shots, yet ended up winning neither.

GOLD DUST: Wolves have been unlucky

In fact – and bizarrely – Wolves had 57% possession in each game and 11 shots on goal, conceding six each time and saw their opponents have a man sent off – that’s consistency!

But while one point from six doesn’t look fantastic, against Leicester, Wolves struck the woodwork three times and should have taken all three points.

5Silky Wanderers

Ask any Wolves fan and chances are they didn’t mind being dubbed ‘The Manchester City of the Championship’ on more than one occasion last season.

A footballing side who love to knock the ball around, press and play the game the way it should be, City face a tricky test today.

THREAT: Ruben Neves

In Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, Wolves have two excellent midfielders – as well as many other experienced and talented players – who are more than capable of causing the Blues problems.

And in Adama Traore, the hosts have a player who would even fancy his chances in a sprint against Benjamin Mendy or Kyle Walker – it should be a fascinating contest.

 

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