Wolves vs. Manchester City Odds & Picks: Wolves Can’t Score Against Loaded Manchester City
Alex Livesey – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images. Pictured: Erling Haaland.
Wolves vs. Manchester City Odds
|Manchester City Odds||-320|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-172 / +140)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Manchester City look to remain unbeaten and temporarily claim the top spot in the Premier League table when they travel to the Molineaux to take on Wolves.
Wolves are struggling right now. They were able to get their first win of the Premier League season last time out, but Bruno Lage's side is currently sitting 14th place. With a tough schedule coming up, Wolves could be in the relegation battle as we reach the World Cup break.
Manchester City look just as dominant as ever and now adding one of the best strikers in the world in Erling Haaland almost makes it unfair. This is another match where they will be required to break down a compact low block, which they have been able to successfully do all season.
Wolves Haven't Converted Opportunities
Wolves style of play is interesting in how they’ve kind of changed from last season. They are straight up winning the midfield battle. They’re averaging 54%, they have the sixth most progressive passes + dribbles, but they can’t turn those possessions into high quality chances.
Wolves are top five in the Premier League in touches in the middle third of the pitch and in the attacking third, but then they drop to 12th for touches in the opponents penalty area. They are at the top of the Premier League in shots, but they lead the Premier League in shots from outside the box, and historically a shot from outside the box has an xG rating of 0.03 on average.
Who does Wolves have on their roster that cant turn that final third possession into a high quality chance? Raul Jimenez, who was a 0.24 xG per 90 minute striker last year? Diego Costa? The options are not good for Wolves.
Plus, I’d imagine Lage is going to fall back into his old way for this match and play ultra compact and conservative with Manchester City coming to town.
Manchester City Can Win In A Number Of Ways
It may not seem like it, but Manchester City are actually more slow and pragmatic than last season by the numbers:
(data via The Analyst)
City are also holding 72.5% possession on average and averaging close to 500 touches per 90 minutes in the middle third of the pitch. Now, the reason for that is because they’ve played a lot of teams that set up in very compact low blocks. In four matches against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, Manchester City have allowed a total of 1.0 xG, 16 shots, and 29 touches in their penalty area.
Manchester City have two styles of play now, one when they have to break down a low block and one when they are playing a more open, pressing team. When they have to break down a low block, the shape in possession almost becomes a 2-3-5 where Kevin DeBruyne & David Silva push up with the front three with Kyle Walker and João Concelo pushing inward, so when City do lose the ball, they are able to quickly counter press, win the ball and try to catch the low block out of position.
– Good compactness and neutralizing players between the lines#city
– inverted full backs with flexible movements
– wingers inverting creating space in wide areas
– #Haaland movement in the box pic.twitter.com/UcYmlNb4KW
— Modern Football Analyst (@VideosModern) August 27, 2022
As you can see in the stats above, teams that play low blocks have not been able to threaten City on the counter whatsoever, so what makes you think Wolves will be able to?
Betting Analysis & Pick
I don't see how Wolves are going to threaten Manchester City on the counter with the so few times they are going to have the ball if the revert back to last year's compact low defensive block and allowed City to have 75% possession.
So, I love BTTS – No at -110 (FanDuel), as I have this line projected at -137.
The Pick: BTTS – No (-110)