Saturday, 21 April 2012

Wolves vs City: Match Preview

City to claw back ground against toothless Wolves

By Dave Walker

Manchester City’s end of season ‘Wildlife Tour’ rolls into the Black Country this Sunday as Roberto Mancini’s Premier League title-chasers face rock bottom Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Having roasted and stuffed the Canaries at Norwich last Saturday, City will be out to tame the Wolves pack before the final away game at Newcastle when they’ll be out to shoot down the high-flying Magpies.

 With Wolves winless under interim manager Terry Connor, the Molineux fixture could provide City’s swashbuckling forwards with a happy hunting ground.

Messrs Aguero and Tevez should take up where they left off after netting five of City’s half dozen at Carrow Road in the stupendous 6-1 victory.

As City’s Premier League title ambitions seemingly evaporated at the Emirates, so too did the tension that has gripped the Sky Blues’ recent form, resulting in a two-game 10-goal bonanza that will surely continue apace against a demoralised and toothless Wolves.

That said, on the rare occasions when City have come unstuck this season, it has often been in the most unlikely of circumstances, so any hint of complacency could prove costly.

City’s vociferous and magnificent away support will be daring to dream the dream if City can bag their ninth away win of the season, especially if league leaders Manchester United drop points against Everton in Sunday’s early kick off.

The ‘unlikely’ Argentinian spearhead (unlikely because it has never delivered for the national team) has suddenly become an unstoppable force with Sergio and Carlos producing a high octane show of verve and vitality topped by a clinical execution in front of goal.

A repeat performance will have the ‘goals for’ column bulging by Sunday evening.

The return of Tevez, Kompany and Lescott to first team staring roles has sparked a remarkable transformation where self belief and free flowing attacking football is back in vogue.

In stark contrast Wolves’ plunging fortunes sees them cut adrift at the foot of the Premier League eight points from even a whiff of salvation. Their plight was compounded this week, by news that first choice keeper Wayne Hennessey is out injured for the rest of the season.

Everything points to a comprehensive City win but professional pride will drive a Wolves team desperate to go down with a roar and not a whimper. Mancini’s men should beware of the men in black and gold’s fighting spirit.

Roberto please take note!

Player watch: 

Yaya Toure vs Karl Henry
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe - Henry photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe

With his enormous physical presence, powerhouse play and surging runs, Yaya is the lynchpin of this City side. He is as much at home breaking up opposition play, as he is wreaking havoc with lung-bursting attacking raids.

Up against him is Wolves’ own talisman and skipper Karl Henry. Hardly a role model for the purists of the game, Henry is nonetheless, the driving force behind a combative midfield unit that, although lacking skill, won’t be short on all out effort.

Neither player will shirk a physical challenge but Yaya should prevail in what could prove to be a sterner test than many neutrals envisage.

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2012

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