Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio has described Manchester City as “one of the best in the world” prior to Friday’s Premier League clash at Molineux.

City were 11 points behind runaway league leaders Liverpool in third place as the festive fixtures began on Thursday.

It means they face a Herculean task in their quest for a successful title defence, but Patricio has no doubt about City’s enduring quality.

“They are an excellent team,” Portugal international Patricio told Wolves’ official website.

“And although they are not in first place, I am sure it will be an excellent game because they have excellent players, an excellent manager, and I would say they are one of the best in the world.

“It will be an amazing game, and playing against them will be even more special because they are one of the best, although all Premier League games are difficult, but this one will be competitive and extra special.

Wolves defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in OctoberWolves defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in October (Nick Potts/PA)

“When we talk about champions, we want to be a part of this. We want to play against the best so we can be the best ourselves.

“Playing against these sorts of teams is also a pleasure, especially if it’s against the champions like Manchester City.”

The City encounter launches a demanding spell of four games in nine days for Patricio and company.

Wolves head to Liverpool on Sunday, then host Watford next Wednesday before entertaining FA Cup third round opponents Manchester United three days later.

“It’s very different, because in Portugal we don’t play during the Christmas holidays,” Patricio added.

“But I think it’s very good for the fans and everyone around, because families can enjoy the games together during the holidays.

“For my family, it’s also good because they like to see me perform and they like to see my play. For me, it’s also enjoyable because I like to compete – I don’t stop – and I also don’t eat as much chocolate!”

Wolves' match with Pep Guardiola's side starts a spell of four games in nine daysWolves’ match with Pep Guardiola’s side starts a spell of four games in nine days (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has reported no new injury problems ahead of facing Pep Guardiola’s men.

He could make some changes on Friday night, with a trip to Liverpool coming less than 45 hours later, and the likes of Patrick Cutrone, Pedro Neto, Ruben Vinagre, Ryan Bennett and Max Kilman are options.

But midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White (back) continues his recovery, along with centre-back Willy Boly (fractured leg) and Bruno Jordao (ankle).