Premier League

Manchester City-Wolverhampton Preview

Pep Guardiola described in-form striker Erling Haaland as "exceptional" as the Norwegian looks to break another Premier League record at Wolves on Saturday.

Haaland has been in scintillating form since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, helping City to an unbeaten start with 10 goals in six Premier League matches.

Should he find the net at Molineux, Haaland will become the first player to ever score on his first four away appearances in the Premier League, having notched in games at West Ham, Newcastle United and Aston Villa.

Guardiola was full of praise for the Norwegian.

"He's an exceptional striker, I said many times," Guardiola said. "But the age he is, I think his ambition is he wants to be better, and he will be better. He's a perfect person, a nice guy, this is the most important.

"With the quality he had before he came here, he has just continued to do what he has done. We didn't add many things."

Wolves have only managed one win in the Premier League so far this season, and lost new striker Sasa Kalajdzic to a serious knee injury just days after his arrival from Stuttgart.

With Raul Jimenez also enduring fitness issues, Bruno Lage has put his faith in a man familiar to Premier League audiences in Diego Costa, and hopes he will be available to play a part.

"We are very happy with him," said Lage. "We know he needs time, not to be fit because he is fit, but to be ready to compete at this level.

"Fifteen months ago when I think about him we didn't have any chance, now he said to me what happened is because it is meant to be. We need a reference in the box, we need one guy to compete with Raul and Diego has that profile and he has a different profile to Raul. Let's see if he can be available."

Wolves – Daniel Podence

Podence has scored two of Wolves' three Premier League goals this season, matching his return from 26 appearances in the competition last campaign. With no Premier League side having fewer different scorers than Wolves this term (two), Podence may need to step up at Molineux.

Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne

Haaland might be the man making headlines for City, but De Bruyne has scored five Premier League goals against Wolves in the past, more than he has against any other team in the competition. The Belgian genius recorded a four-goal haul at Molineux last term, and could be the key to unlocking the miserly hosts.

- Three of Wolves' four Premier League victories over Manchester City have come in home games, beating them at Molineux in 2003-04, 2010-11 and 2019-20.

- After losing both league meetings with Wolves in 2019-20, Manchester City have won each of their last four against them by an aggregate score of 13-3.

- Wolves haven't scored in the second half in any of their last seven Premier League games – it's their longest such run in the competition, while the last team to have a longer streak were Southampton between October and December last season (eight).

- Manchester City have the highest shot conversion rate in the Premier League this season (19.6 per cent). The Citizens have also outperformed their expected goals more than any other side this term, netting 20 goals compared to an xG figure of 13.9 (+6.1).

- No side has scored fewer Premier League goals than Wolves so far this season (three), while they also have the worst shot conversion rate so far this term (4 per cent). However, Bruno Lage's side have conceded the fewest goals so far (four), conceding from just six per cent of their shots faced.

Updated September 16, 2022

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