Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers preview: Foden and Ake face late fitness tests

By Ric Turner, Fri 10 December 2021 16:03

Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers preview: Foden and Ake face late fitness testsPair suffered knocks in midweek defeat to Leipzig and will be assessed in training

Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Competition: F.A. Premier League

Date: 12.30 pm, Saturday 11th December 2021

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants: M Perry, T Wood Fourth Official: M Atkinson VAR: A Marriner

Odds: City 1/7, Draw 7/1, Wolves 18/1.

Tickets: On sale via

TV: BT Sport

Manchester City

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Squad (from): Ederson, Steffen, Carson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Laporte, Cancelo, Gundogan, Grealish, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Fernandinho, Foden, Palmer, Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez

Injured: Torres

Doubtful: Ake, Foden, Jesus, Laporte

Suspended: Mendy

Form guide: LWWWW

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Manager: Bruno Lage

Squad (from): Sa, Moulden, Ruddy, Hoever, Ait-Nouri, Marcal, Boly, Coady, Jonny, Semedo, Kilman, Neves, Podence, Saiss, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Jimenez, Trincao, Silva, Hee-Chan, Traore

Injured: Otto, Neto, Mosquera

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Form guide: LWDDL

Phil Foden and Nathan Ake will be assessed in training on Friday after suffering knocks in the midweek defeat to RB Leipzig. Foden was withdrawn as a precaution at half-time at the Red Bull Arena, whilst Ake appeared to have discomfort in his back late on in the game.

“We will assess this afternoon,” said manager Pep Guardiola. “We are training in a few hours. When you have an injury in your ankle and two months of holiday, you will recover incredibly well - but when you play every three days, you will have niggles. Phil is getting better. He will dictate and say how he feels after games. But in December, with this amount of games and knowing Phil, he will want to play and be there.”

Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva and Rodri all retrurn to the squad having been rested for the trip to Germany, whilst Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte are though to have recovered from minor knocks.

Wolves have enjoyed an impressive start to the season under new manager Bruno Lage, and Guardiola is wary of the threat they pose.

"Always when we face Wolves it has been tight games. They have scored 12 goals and conceded 13 and are so stable. They played more between the lines last season, it was always tough in last years when we faced Wolves and tomorrow will be no exception.

"They have structure, pace up front, good character. They are up there. They are doing an incredible season so far. We know it but we are in a good position to continue our run in the Premier League."

Lage, meanwhile, has urged his Wolves side to play without fear as they try to bounce back from a last-minute defeat against Liverpool last weekend.

“We cannot be in front of our box defending for 90 minutes or pressing 90 minutes in a higher position,” he said.

“You know the profile for our players, if we go for the duels it’s hard. So we have to control the game with the ball. That’s the challenge. Don’t be afraid. We cannot be afraid to fail.

“If we fail we have another chance. If we make a bad pass, no problem, we need to recover the ball. Let’s go and play our game. We need to go without fear to play our game on any pitch.”

City won their last home league game against Wolves 4-1, with goals from Leander Dendoncker (og), Riyad Mahrez, and Gabriel Jesus (2). Overall City have won 50 of the 123 games played against Wolves, with 25 draws and 48 defeats.

Predicted line-up: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo, Sterling, Jesus, Grealish

Score prediction: City 2 Wolves 1