Man City v Wolves Monday January 14, 20:00 Live on Sky Sports
De Bruyne back as City get their goalscoring groove on
After an uncharacteristically poor December that saw City beaten three times in the Premier League, the title holders have kicked off the new year with a trio of confidence-boosting wins. The big one was the 2-1 defeat of Liverpool to reinvigorate the title race and City have consequently cut loose, battering lower league opposition in both cups scoring 16 goals across two fixtures.
Influential midfielder Kevin de Bruyne made a welcome return to first-team action in those two cup games and manager Pep Guardiola has nearly all his key men available to him now. Only defender Benjamin Mendy is definitely out, although Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero are doubtful starters due to a knock and illness respectively.
Wolves in good nick ahead of big test
Wolves wrote another chapter in the very positive story that is their 2018-19 season when knocking (an admittedly second string) Liverpool out of the FA Cup on Monday night. That is the latest win in a campaign studded with notable results - December, for instance, brought defeats of Chelsea and Spurs and it is notable how Nuno Espirito Santo's side have troubled all the top sides in the league. Indeed, Opta tell us that Wolves have won nine points from their seven games against the 'big six' this season (W2 D3 L2), more than any other side outside of those six clubs.
The visitors have a clean bill of health with all first team regulars available.
City just 1.20 for the win
The match odds make for eye-watering reading for Wolves fans with their side totally written off at 18.50 to back, City a very tight 1.20, while the draw is 8.40 to back.
Of course, the home side are rightful favourites - they have won 10 of 11 at The Etihad this season, are one of Europe's best sides and have the motivation of being in the thick of a title battle - but those odds are only for the heavy hitters and anyone wanting to support Pep's boys needs to be a bit more creative with their betting.
And you could argue that Wolves are being dismissed a touch given they have shown they can be competitive against good teams - and City in particular.
The champions have failed to take maximum points on just five occasions in the Premier League this season and Wolves were one of the quintet to have denied the defending champions. That 1-1 draw at Molineux in late August served notice that Nuno Espirito Santo's side meant business and was the spur for an eight game unbeaten run. They go to The Etihad ninth in the table, neither in danger of going down or catching the sides chasing Europe, and this is very much a free hit for them. I think they can at least make this competitive.
Market keen on goals
It's City so of course the market is expecting goals. Over 2.5 is just1.48 to back and four goals or more is just a 2.20 shot. In all honesty, I can't see much value here or an attractive bet anyway.
Back Wolves to register for a value bet
One Opta stat really stood out for me - City haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last six Premier League home games and you can back the home win with both teams scoring at bigger than 2/1. I think that is worth a bet. Wolves are not heavy scorers but they have found the back of the net in their last five away games and this is a value way of supporting the home side for the win away from the ultra tight match odds market.
If Sane starts this SGM could reward
We have already put together a Same Game Multi above but there are a plenty of other options open to Betfair punters. Predicting a City lineup is always tricky but sticking a home goal scorer in a bet alongside a City win and over 2.5 goals is a tempter. Leroy Sane has been in incredible form but doesn't always feature, however if he starts he can be added to our SGM to make a bet at odds of 3.25.