Manchester City return to Premier League action following the Christmas period with a trip to Molineux, in the first of three games within the space of six days. Pep Guardiola’s side will be seeking revenge, following the last meeting between the two sides – a game that saw Nuno Espirito Santo’s men win 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season.
Ahead of the Boxing Day clash played on the 27th, we spoke to Dave Azzopardi of Wolves fan channel ‘Talking Wolves‘, to get his views on a number of topics including the future for Adama Traore, the previous clash between the two sides, and the influence and impact of Nuno Espirito Santo on the Molineux club.
Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us Dave! To be quite honest, the little we talk about the last meeting between Wolves and Manchester City the better, but how much of a shock was the 0-2 victory to Wolves fans, and what did it mean in terms of what your club can achieve this season?
Yes, that 2-0 win was huge for us! It was just after a huge Europa League victory too, so it’s really helped to give us a nice boost of momentum. I don’t think any Wolves fan expected to win the game, but we were fantastic and it was such a professional performance by us too!
Since that result, Wolves’ manager Nuno Espirito Santo has been heavily linked with the top job at Arsenal. What would it have meant had your manager left the club for the Emirates?
If Nuno had left us, it would have been catastrophic. He’s been vital in our growth as a football club over the past few years, and it would be extremely difficult for the club to find a replacement of his calibre with similar philosophies!
Just on Nuno, how important is he to Wolves’ future success and where can he realistically take this squad?
As I said previously, he’s been huge for the growth of this club. As a fan too, it’s some of the best football I’ve ever watched. I think with the money available and the rate at which we are growing, he could genuinely help us break into the top six consistently and go from there!
Adama Traore was at the centre of attention the last time Wolves and City faced off – where can he take his career – Is it a long-term future at Wolves or can you see him really pushing on and joining one of the more traditional top clubs in Europe?
Adama Traore has been fantastic this season! He really struggled last term, but I think that performance against Manchester City at Etihad has helped catapult his form onto another level. We know how good he can be, it’s just hoping that he can continue to provide that on a consistent basis.
The top clubs will come calling soon enough, as his talent is so unique and he has the ability to change a game in seconds, but obviously I’m hoping he can stick with Wolves!
There seems to be a lot of mutual respect between Wolves and City on the pitch, especially given the Portuguese link between a few players, but from a fans point of view, how do you view Manchester City as a footballing side and as a club?
I like Manchester City personally – I love watching how they play, especially under Pep Guardiola. He’s a great manager, arguably the best in the world, so to have him in English football is fantastic! He always seems to be respectful to others in the press which I rate. The club are run well and I think people can appreciate that a lot more since the Amazon Prime documentary on the club was released last year!
Looking ahead to Friday night’s game, how do you see this one panning out?
I think it depends a lot on how Wolves setup and start. We played with a 3-5-2 the last time we faced off against Manchester City, but more recently we’ve been playing with a 3-4-3. It’ll be a really interesting game, but Wolves need to be clinical to beat Manchester City. We can take encouragement from our last couple of performances against you though!
Possible Wolves Starting XI and score prediction?
Team: Patricio; Doherty, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss, Jonny; Neves, Moutinho; Traore, Jimenez, Jota.
Score Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Manchester City.