Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers predictions and psychology

My suspicion is that Manchester City expected to win the league title this season as easily as they did last season, and have been unprepared for the strength of Liverpool’s challenge.   Certainly anyone placing a bet on Liverpool being this far ahead at this point of the season would have got stupendous odds and rather strange looks as the bookie happily took the money.

But we are where we are and Liverpool are out in front.  All Man City can do is win their games.

In terms of home performances they are right out front

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 11 10 0 1 37 10 27 30
2 Liverpool 10 9 1 0 27 3 24 28
3 Arsenal 11 8 2 1 24 10 14 26
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25

and that in itself makes any match on their ground look like a home win.

Wolverhampton’s away record is not so clever…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 12 10 0 2 28 12 16 30
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Chelsea 10 7 1 2 19 8 11 22
4 Manchester City 10 6 2 2 19 7 12 20
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 11 5 2 4 13 13 0 17
7 Watford 11 4 4 3 16 14 2 16
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 4 3 3 11 10 1 15

Four wins, three draws and three defeats scoring just one goal a game and letting in the same.   While Manchester City at home score three or four on average and concede just one.   Which makes it look like a straight 4-1, or at least 3-1, to Manchester City.

All Wolverhampton can look for is a recent dip in form from City but even that is missing…

22 Dec 2018 Manchester City v Crystal Palace L 2-3
26 Dec 2018 Leicester City v Manchester City L 2-1
30 Dec 2018 Southampton v Manchester City W 1-3
03 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Liverpool W 2-1
06 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Rotherham United FAC W 7-0
09 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burton Albion Lge Cup W 9-0

After the defeats to Palace and Leicester Manchester City have recovered and have knocked in 21 goals in four games, although two were against lower league teams.  But such team still have to be beaten.   There is nothing here to show that they are in any mood to do anything other than score as many goals as possible.

Wolverhampton themselves have had a bit of a boost of late…

05 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea W 2-1
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-2
15 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0
21 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool L 0-2
26 Dec 2018 Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-3
02 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace L 0-2
07 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool FAC W 2-1

Three straight wins early in December, and a modest defeat to Liverpool which itself was offset by knocking Liverpool out of the Cup – in a season when Liverpool were clearly hoping for a second league and cup double.

That win over Liverpool and earlier against Tottenham at Wembley were both remarkable, and when we add in the Chelsea game it looks as if Wolves have a secret weapon against the big clubs.  But Tottenham are slipping up at Wembley – a ground they seem to hate – and I can’t see Manchester City letting any more points drop away.   They still have hopes of catching Liverpool even though it means waiting for Liverpool to slip.

I’ll stick with my easy win for Man City.

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