PREMIER LEAGUE expert Ben Levene (@benlevene96) analyses Saturday's early kick-off as Wolves host Man City and picks out his best bets.
Wolves v Man City | Saturday 25th August 2018, 12:30 | Sky Sports
Champions Manchester City have continued where they left-off, beginning the season in relentless fashion.
Such is the Citizens’ depth, none of Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling or the injured Kevin De Bruyne started Sunday’s 6-1 victory over Huddersfield.
On the opening day of the season, Pep Guardiola’s side were without key men De Bruyne and David Silva, and yet still romped to a 2-0 win at the Emirates.
City travel to newly-promoted Wolves who have collected just the single-point from games against Everton and Leicester.
City strong on the road
As you’d imagine, City’s away record over the last year or so is formidable. In their last 28 Premier League trips, they’ve produced a W22-D4-L2 away record – the losses came at Stamford Bridge and Anfield.
15 of those 22 (68%) wins came to nil, so perhaps the 23/20 about the Citizens doing so again at Molineux is of appeal, but instinct tells me to steer clear of that.
Wolves no rollovers
Wolves are capable, and whilst I won’t be backing them, they have enough within their ranks to make me wary of taking Man City at such short-prices.
Since Guardiola took charge, City have won nine of 39 away matches by more than two goals. Victories by massive margins on the road aren’t as common as you’d imagine, and so at the prices City can’t be backed on the handicaps with any conviction either.
Especially not whilst De Bruyne is absent. City average less goals, points per game, and have a lower win percentage when the Belgium is absent.
City to collect corners
If Wolves can frustrate City for long periods, then we can expect Guardiola’s team to accumulate corners.
That’s something they do anyway – City averaged 7.7 corners per Premier League away match last season. City have achieved ten corners in each of their two games so far this season.
Since the start of last season, City have achieved eight or more corners in 11/19 away matches (58%).
Wolves will likely stick with their back-three system and will be organised without the ball – Guardiola’s side will have a lot of possession around the edge of the box.
Nuno went with his trusted formation when drawing 0-0 at the Etihad in the EFL cup last season. On that occasion, Wolves had just 27% possession while City accumulated ten corners.
Unibet are offering 9/10 about over 7.5 Man City corners, which implies just a 53% chance. Given the frequency with which it’s landed since the start of last season, and their corner record so far this campaign, I make that value.
Wolves v Man City – Over 7.5 Man City corners (9/10 Unibet)