The feast of festive football continues on Friday as Wolverhampton Wanderers host Manchester City at Molineux.
Wolves will be looking to do the double over the current Premier League champions after Nuno Espirito Santo’s side pulled off a shock 2-0 victory over City at the Etihad Stadium in October.
Much of the context of this game relies on the crucial Boxing Day clash between Leicester City and Liverpool, with the top two facing off against each other at the King Power Stadium.
The result of that fixture will leave City knowing full well what their task is for the remainder of the season, and whatever the outcome their trip to Wolves will prove to be a massive encounter.
A win for Leicester City will see them pull back away from City for 24 hours at least, but it will bring league leaders Liverpool closer to the pair of challengers.
Victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side may prove to be one of their final obstacles in the way of claiming their first title in 30 years cleared, but it would mean City can take over Leicester and move back into second place in the table with a win in the Black Country.
City will go on to play three games in six days over the festive period including this clash, with matches against high-flying Sheffield United and Everton, revitalised by the arrival of new manager Carlo Ancelotti, still to come.
It could prove to be a season-defining period for Pep Guardiola and his men, but dealing with the stern task ahead of them on Friday is the first port of call.
Wolves shocked City with that stunning smash-and-grab display in October, with the pace of Adama Traore proving to be the difference-maker. You would expect that they will need to reproduce a similar sort of approach going into this meeting.
Espirito Santo’s team have only lost two of their last 20 games since the stunning victory in Manchester, and have in fact tasted defeat on less occasions than their visitors on Friday.
They are now only five points off the top four in the Premier League, quietly doing well under the surface while the heroics of Sheffield United take centre stage.
City are unbeaten in their last four games and produced a stunning performance to see off Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester side on Saturday night.
Its a difficult one to call, but one thing we can guarantee is that we will be in for a fantastic and intriguing tactical battle between two of the best managers in the league.
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