Wolves got a taste of things to come at Molineux on Wednesday when they were trounced 5-2 by Manchester City in the Carling Cup, with Mick McCarthy’s men meeting the same opponents at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Although optimistic Wolves fans (if there are any) could point to the fact that McCarthy made a number of changes for the cup tie, City boss Roberto Mancini followed a similar path, with the likes of Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva all rested in mid-week.
As such, while Wolves will be stronger on Saturday for the inclusion of Jamie O’Hara and Roger Johnson from the start, Mancini will ensure the gulf in class is maintained by fielding the aforementioned quartet as he seeks a fifth consecutive league win.
City are therefore heavy favourites to claim all three points at 3/20, with a draw at 6/1.
Meanwhile, the extent of the task facing Wolves is illustrated by their odds of 33/2 for victory.
With the Citizens in such imperious form and Wolves having lost five of their last six league matches, the pertinent question is not will Man City win but by what margin of victory.
Given City have only conceded once in four home league matches and that Wolves have drawn blanks in two of their last three away league fixtures, the chances of Kevin Doyle and co hitting the back of the net look slim.
With this in mind, odds of 7/10 on Man City to keep a clean sheet look generous.
At the other end, Wolves look to be in trouble given City’s recent goalscoring exploits.
Their 5-2 win over the Old Gold came just three days after Manchester United were hit for six, while their two domestic fixtures prior to the derby were 4-1 and 4-0 successes over Aston Villa and Blackburn respectively.
A multiple correct score of 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0 to City therefore looks to be the obvious choice at 15/4.
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