Manchester City are ready to face Wolverhampton Wanderers away in their first match of the new Premier League season.
The question for Manchester City fans is has Manager Pep Guardiola remedied the short comings which saw City finish last season so far behind League leaders Liverpool? Certainly from the feelings expressed by many fans on social media, it would appear not.
Last campaign saw City repeatedly troubled by the same afflictions: conceding simple goals and failing to take all the chances they created. Since then they have added Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres to the roster, but none of us quite know whether this will be enough.
The upcoming game against Wolves though should give a good indicator of where our City team is in terms of performance and probably what we can expect from the season ahead.
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Wolves have become something of a bell weather result for us. Make no mistake, should City win then the season coming may look very rosy indeed.
Wolves have already started the new season so have some match fitness in their legs whereas City have not even faced friendly opposition in the few short weeks rest. This may be a game of great difficulty for our side, facing an energetic and hungry Wolves side who beat us twice last year.
In the pre match press conference Pep Guardiola confirmed that City will be missing two key players as both Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero are unfit. That should at least guarantee a start for Nathan Ake for his debut, but quite who he would partner in central defence is a mystery. Will we see Eric Garcia who wants to leave? Will it be unfancied John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi? Will it be Fernandinho against the pace of Armand Traore?
Will Pep Guardiola look to keep the game tight by closing and pressing or will we attempt to play our normal controlling game and invite Wolves onto the counter attack?
As this strangest of football seasons gets underway there are many questions to answer but we shall all just have to watch the game unfold from afar.
I suspect from the failure of Pep’s tinkering in the defeat to Lyon last season, that City will play their normal game in a 4-3-3 with both full backs looking to contain Wolves through attack.
If City play at their best they should win, but we need to get some results to build our confidence and this is a hard start.
Predicted Starting XI