This Saturday’s early evening Premier League fixture sees a beleaguered Manchester United play host to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford. As the Red Devils continue to lurch between protests and poor results, they face Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves side for the third time in less than a month.
Where and when: Old Trafford – 1 February, kick-off 17:30
Where you can see Manchester United vs. Wolves: Sky Sports
Last time: Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game as United beat Wolves 1-0 in their FA Cup third-round replay at Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago.
Manchester United v Wolves Predictions and Preview
Wolves were Manchester United’s bogey team last season, coming from behind to claim a point at Old Trafford before winning 2-1 twice in the Premier League and FA Cup at Molineux. The first two matches between the clubs in league and cup this season both ended all square, forcing that replay a couple of weekends back.
Only goal difference separates the two teams in the table at present, with both clubs aiming to bridge the six-point gap to fourth-placed Chelsea and the Champions League places here. United were hoping for some new additions in January to help their cause, but they failed to materialise deep into the transfer window.
Should no signings be made prior to the closure of the window on Friday night, we can expect even louder protests here against their owners, the Glazer family, and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. On the pitch, it’s almost impossible to predict which version of the current United team will turn up.
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Wolves to win 2-1
Jimenez to score first and Wolves to win 2-1
Greenwood to score first
The 6-0 mauling of Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup doesn’t mask the frailties of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s youthful squad, which have been evident in losing their last two Premier League matches to Burnley and Liverpool. Despite that, and a trip to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals in midweek, the Reds are the 6/5 favourites for the win on Saturday.
The price of 14/5 you can get on Wolves is probably slightly enhanced by the Wanderers’ current patchy form, rather than their performances over the last 18 months. Nuno’s side have only won one of their last five Premier League fixtures, even if that was an impressive comeback victory away to in-form Southampton.
Wolves have lost three of those five, although one of those was away to another in-form side, Watford, with the other two both against Liverpool. All things considered, the visitors could be very attractive at their current odds, while the draw may also be tempting at 12/5.
On the team news front, Ruben Vinagre is the only absentee for the visitors, as Nuno continues to benefit from a clean bill of health which seems to have lasted ever since they were promoted for the start of last season. United, on the other hand, are missing a raft of first-team stars, including Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
One to watch for Manchester United: With Rashford out for the next couple of months at least, many United fans are hoping to see much more of teenage sensation Mason Greenwood. The exciting youngster has scored 10 goals already this season in all competitions, and is 11/2 to break the deadlock here.
One to watch for Wolves: Raul Jimenez has 20 for the campaign, with 11 of those coming in the Premier League. The Mexican opened the scoring when these teams met in the FA Cup at Molineux last season, and is 6/1 to do the same here.
Long shot: Wolves beat United 2-1 twice last season, and with the Reds continuing to stutter and stumble their way through this campaign, it’s not hard to envisage the Wanderers doing the same here. They are 12/1 to win 2-1, rising to 36/1 with Jimenez as the first goalscorer.