Wolves vs Manchester City | Wednesday 11th May 2022, 20:15 | Sky Sports
Wolves have been a thorn in the side of the traditional ‘big six’ all season long. Bruno Lage’s team have played ten league games against them so far, frustrating them all with their stubborn low-block and contain and counter approach.
The fine margins of these clashes is epitomised by the fact that the games have averaged 1.7 goals as the Wanderers goal difference sits at -3 with under 2.5 goals clicking in eight of those fixtures.
Bet365 have Wolves with a +1.75 goal head start on the asian handicap at 9/10. This means that if the hosts win, draw or lose by one goal the bet wins and if they lose by exactly two we only lose half of our stake. The only way we lose the entirety of our stake is if Wolves lose by more than one goal and considering this has not happened in any of their league games against this big six so far this campaign, I think 9/10 is generous.
Interestingly, half of these fixtures have seen Wolves lose 1-0. Raheem Sterling’s penalty was the difference in the reverse. Spurs, Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal also won by the exact same scoreline.
With half of their fixtures with a similar dynamic to this one ending the same way, I think it is more than just a coincidence. The circumstances of this fixture also bode well for a cagey, low scoring affair. Victory could move the visitors five points clear of second placed Liverpool, though they have an injury crisis in defence to contend with, so will have to tread carefully.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kyle Walker, John Stones and Ruben Dias will miss the remainder of the season meaning Aymeric Laprote is their only fit, first choice central defender. Veteran midfielder Fernandinho will likely slot into the heart of defence.
All things considered, I think taking the 0-1 correct score is worth a small play, given how Wolves games vs the big boys have played out so far this season.
My knowledge of the Primeira Liga is very limited so when Wolves secured the services of Chiquinho from Estoril for a few million in January, I was indifferent.
I would be lying if I said I knew about the transfer or the player. The first time I became aware of the Portuguese youngster was around 16:25 on Saturday when he replaced Pedro Neto at Stamford Bridge with 20 minutes of the game remaining. The winger spun the match on its head. His side were 2-0 down at the time of his arrival but, thanks to his two assists the visitors headed home with a share of the spoils.
Chiquinho has only played 68 minutes in the Premier League since joining Wolves. However, in that limited time, he has already bettered Emile Smith Rowe, Sadio Mane and Christian Pulisic assists tallies for the season and equalled Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence, who also have three.
Granted, his first assist vs Watford was a header to Ruben Neves, who then chipped Ben Foster from 20-yards. But his most recent one, in the last few seconds on Saturday, was an inch perfect cross that left Edouard Mendy in no man's land, evaded Chelsea’s defenders and was duly nodded home by Conor Coady.
His assists per 90 of 3.70 is obviously unsustainable and there are doubts over if he will get the nod from the off at the Etihad, but William Hill's price of 8/1 for him to register another assist has got to be worth a punt.
Recently, Lage praised the winger for always making an impact during his cameo appearances. The reason he is yet to make a start yet is because he is raw, he only has 46 senior appearances to his name.
In Portugal, he accumulated five bookings in just nine domestic starts, committing 25 fouls in the process and highlighting his general lack of nous. If he does get the nod, given the quality of the opposition, the 11/2 available with Betfair for him to be booked could be worth a punt. Especially considering the same bet is only 5/2 with William Hill.
You can combine a Chiquinho assist and card at 30/1 via William Hill’s bet builder, if he starts I think this longshot is worth a small play as well.
Wolves vs Manchester City – Wolves +1.75 Asian Handicap (9/10 Bet365)
Wolves vs Manchester City – Manchester City to Win 1-0 (7/1 Bet365)
Wolves vs Manchester City – Chiquinho Card (11/2 Betfair)
Wolves vs Manchester City – Chiquinho Card & Assist (30/1 William Hill)