Wolves vs Manchester United - Match Preview
Wolves look to build on a good result from Thursday night as they take on Manchester United in their first Premier League home game of the 19/20 season on Monday night.
By Adam Virgo
Both sides head into Monday’s encounter without conceding a goal in their opening Premier League fixture, Wolves drawing 0-0 with Leicester at the King Power Stadium whilst United won 4-0 against Chelsea at Old Trafford.
United, managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, lost 2-1 both times at Molineux last season, one coming in the Premier League and the other in the FA Cup Quarter Final.
Wolves, since that 0-0 draw with Leicester, won 4-0 in their Europa League game against FC Pyunik on Thursday night and now endure a busy period with three games in seven days.
United will feel like they want revenge after their two defeats at Molineux last season and with the additions of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James this summer, you would expect them to be a lot stronger, especially defensively.
Nuno Espírito Santo will have a fully-fit squad available to him and I would expect Wolves start with the same XI that did against Leicester.
United will be without Eric Bailly who suffered a long-term knee injury at the end of July, whilst Alexis Sanchez and Fred are both building fitness up due to joining up late with the squad for pre-season.
Manchester Utd - Paul Pogba
Everyone knows on his day Paul Pogba can be one of the best players in the league and his second half performance against Chelsea showed the ability he possesses. For Man United to click and against a solid Wolves midfield, the Frenchman will certainly have to perform. Pogba scored 13 goals and assisted nine in the Premier League last season, albeit seven of his goals were penalties. He has came in for a lot of stick for not turning up in certain games and for not trying occasionally but there’s no doubting his ability, however Wolves also have the tools in midfield to be able to nullify him as proved in the three games between these two sides last season.
Wolves – Diogo Jota
The man who had a big say in both games at Molineux against United last season and I’m backing him to be key player for Wolves on Monday night. Since December 2018, he has been one of Wolves’ best players and his partnership with Raúl Jiménez has already blossomed in their Europa League campaign so far. Even though United have brought in Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to sure up their defence, the Portuguese forward can still cause them problems with his tenacity and drive on the ball. His runs help Wolves get up the pitch a lot which could be very decisive in this game, especially if him or Jiménez can be lethal in front of goal.
· Wolves have only conceded one goal in all of their pre season, Europa League and Premier League games far in the 2019/20 campaign.
· Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have scored a combined eight goals in their last seven games (six pre-season games and the opening day PL fixture)
· After four games in Wolves’ Europa League campaign so far, Diogo Jota and Raúl Jiménez combined have scored six goals and assisted five.
. Manchester United go into Monday night’s game off the back of a 4-0 win, the Reds joint biggest victory under Solskjaer, the other coming in his first game in charge when they beat Cardiff 5-1.
Wolves 2-1 Man United – I’m going for the same scoreline as it was at Molineux in both games last season. United certainly have the firepower to score at least one but I think tactically Wolves will just edge it.
Adam Virgo is a Talking Wolves blogger and sports writer. You can follow him here.