English Premier League: Manchester City must respond in tough Wolves standoff

May JohnsonJan 15, 2019

But a victory over leaders Liverpool to kick off New Year completely rejuvenated the mood at the Etihad Stadium after City had been denied the services of injured playmaker Kevin De Bruyne for most of the first half of the campaign.

City - who are second in the Premier League behind Liverpool ahead of Monday's clash against Wolves - have also been linked with Ruben Neves to provide cover for holding midfielder Fernandinho.

Guardiola has been asked numerous times if City might try to add to the squad during this month's transfer window but he remains adamant that will not happen.

Guardiola said: "A month ago I started reading "Ruben Neves, £100m".

"It involves playing with two holding midfielders - not just one - but he's an excellent player".

The pair missed the cup games against Rotherham and Burton, striker Aguero through illness and captain Kompany with a muscular problem, but are close to fitness.

But Guardiola says it is impossible for his side to win on all four fronts.

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Even long-term injury victim Benjamin Mendy is making progress and expected to return to the fold shortly.

Wanderers go into this match off the back of a solid win over Liverpool in the FA Cup last week, and having already held Man City in the Premier League this season, they will head up the M6 high in confidence.

The last meeting between the sides was a 1-1 draw at Molineux earlier this season when a handball goal by Willy Boly was cancelled out by Aymeric Laporte.

Their arrival in Manchester before Christmas coincided with an upturn in the forward's form, and Guardiola said: "The private life is the private life and if they need something we are there".

"They are strong physically, counter-attack, set-pieces". When you are exhausted in the last minutes, they put on new players.

He added: "They defend well, deep, they control many areas - Moutinho, Neves, he can shoot from a long way".

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