Manchester City are five points behind cross-town foes and title rivals Manchester United and no matter what happens between United and Everton on Sunday evening, City boss Roberto Mancini will know that only a win at the Molineux, against Wolves, will help his side in the title race.
The Italian might have publicly thrown in the towel after the defeat at Arsenal on 8 April but subsequent wins over West Brom and Norwich have restored some degree of hope among players and fans, especially with the Manchester derby at the Etihad scheduled for next week.
Meanwhile, bottom of the table Wolves are seven points away from Bolton and a further eight to 10 points, as of now, from safety. The team's relegation could be mathematically confirmed if they do not beat City and given the enormity of that task, the players have admitted they are playing just for pride now. Terry Connor succeeded in ending a run of seven defeats with a 0-0 draw at Sunderland last week but is still waiting for his first victory as Wolves manager.
Team News: Wolves goalkeeper Dorus de Vries is poised to make his Premier League debut, replacing Wayne Hennessey. The Welshman is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a knee injury picked up in last week's 0-0 draw at Sunderland. Defender Sebastien Bassong, who is on loan from Spurs, is available after serving a one-match suspension and winger Matt Jarvis will also return to the starting line-up. Captain Roger Johnson might make it to the squad for this match after being benched for a few games following an argument with Hennessey during the 2-3 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers three weeks ago, while midfielders Stephen Hunt and Jamie O'Hara, along with defender Jody Craddock remain sidelined.
Roberto Mancini has no injury concerns but he will be without striker Mario Balotelli, who is serving the final game of his three-match ban. Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez is set to make another start after netting a hat-trick at Norwich last week.
- Wolves have lost their last nine matches at the Molineux, a club record. However, the last time they played City, at home, in October, they actually won 2-1.
- City have managed only 12 points from their last 11 away games, winning three and losing five. Meanwhile, Tevez and Agüero have together scored and set up eight goals in their last two matches.
- In the reverse fixture in October, City won 3-1, with goals from Edin Dzeko, Aleksandar Kolorov and Adam Johnson. Wolves pulled one back through a Stephen Hunt penalty after City captain Vincent Kompany was sent off for fouling Kevin Doyle inside the box.
Probable Starting Line-up
Wolves: De Vries, Zubar, Johnson, Bassong, Ward, Kightly, Edwards, Henry, Jarvis, Doyle, Fletcher
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Tevez
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