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Predicted Wolves XI to face Manchester City

Julen Lopetegui takes his Wolves players to the Etihad Stadium today, with Premier League champions Manchester City the opponents in the Premier League.

Wolves are looking to spring a surprise, and get themselves away from the relegation zone.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

City are looking to keep pace with league leaders Arsenal at the top of the league, and will see this game as one they should be, and need to be, winning.

Pep Guardiola was in a fiery mood after their 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in midweek. So it will be interesting to see what kind of effect his post-match comments will have on both the players and the fans.

Wolves have been making good progress under Lopetegui, and have been successful on this ground in the past.

It’s not out of the question they could get something, but it will be very difficult.

Here’s a team Lopetegui might go with today in Manchester…

Predicted Wolves XI to face Manchester City – Pablo Sarabia makes first start for Wolves

It is hard to see Lopetegui making any changes to the defence that started against West Ham United.

Jose Sa will keep his place, and the back four will likely be Nelson Semedo, Nathan Collins, Maximilian Kilman and Hugo Bueno.

They were all great against the Hammers and it doesn’t really make sense to make any changes against City.

Photo by Gustavo Pantano/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Toti Gomes was fantastic against Liverpool in midweek. But Kilman put in his best display for a while against West Ham. That might just give him the edge over the Portuguese defender.

In midfield, Ruben Neves and Matheus Nunes are starting to look a really good partnership. Both players simply must start.

Pep Guardiola branded Nunes one of the best players in the world last year. And the 24-year-old will want to show why that is.

They could be joined by Joao Moutinho.

In attack, Daniel Podence seems a pretty safe bet to start. He only got around half an hour against Liverpool so should be relatively fresh. He’s having a good season, and is Wolves’ best creator and also top scorer.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

On the right, Lopetegui might throw in new signing Pablo Sarabia.

Sarabia signed earlier this week and has had the chance to train with his new teammates.

The Spaniard is a brilliant addition to the squad. And Lopetegui might want to turn to him from the start today.

City will have most of the ball, and so it’s important that Wolves can be productive when they get it.

Sarabia – who cost Wolves just £4.4 million – is known for his creativity and could serve something up.

Sarabia starting would likely mean Adama Traore being on the bench. He’s caused huge problems for City in the past, and Guardiola has previously said ‘nobody can handle his pace’. But he might be better coming off the bench to run at tired legs in the second-half.

Raul Jimenez may lead the line and will hope for a better afternoon that the last time he took to this particular pitch.

He stupidly got sent off for blocking a City free-kick, earning himself a second yellow card just moments after getting his first.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

The Mexican has been looking sharper in recent times. He is probably still the best option to lead the line for Wolves.

Fixtures don’t really come too much tougher than this. And Erling Haaland is a goal machine so Collins and Kilman have their work cut out.

But City haven’t been at their very best this season, and that will certainly give the Wolves players involved today some hope.

Wolves XI to face Manchester City (4-3-3): Sa/Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno/Neves, Nunes, Moutinho/Sarabia, Jimenez, Podence.