Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United – prediction, team news, lineups
There will be a celebratory atmosphere in the air for Manchester United when they visit Wolverhampton Wanderers in Molineux on Sunday for their third game of the new Premier League season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will oversee his 100th Premier League match with the Red Devils and history could be made too, just days after the 20-time champions struck a sensational deal to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club.
Friday, August 27 will be one of the most dramatic and celebrated days in Manchester United’s recent history as the Red Devils achieved one of the most notable transfer hijackings ever seen in football.
Club legend Ronaldo seemed destined for Manchester’s blue half earlier in the day, but, just hours after the news that United itself was also in the race, they had confirmed a deal with Juventus to bring back. one of his best players. Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old prodigal will not join his new teammates until after the next international break and thus will not play any role against the Wolves, but rather because of the unexpected nature of his arrival, and the added bonus of stealing it. out of the reach of title rivals, Manchester City is sure to give the entire club a big boost before their trip to the Black Country.
It’s a boost they arguably also needed after a disappointing 1-1 draw at Southampton last time out, a result that drained some of the initial optimism generated by their opening day, inspired by Bruno Fernandes, Leeds United.
While their trip to St Mary’s will undoubtedly count as two points lost rather than one won, the result also saw them match Arsenal’s Invincibles record of 27 unbeaten Premier League away games.
If the Red Devils can avoid defeat on Sunday, they will have enjoyed the longest unbeaten streak in English Football League history, having not lost on the road in the Premier League since January 2020.
It will also be a historic day for Solskjaer, as he marks a century of Premier League matches in charge of the club, a milestone that seemed unlikely he could celebrate at numerous times during his time at the helm.
However, the Man United hierarchy has put their faith in the Norwegian with a long-term contract, and the statistics back that up too: of the eight previous coaches who have reached triple the number of league games in charge of the club, only Ernest Mangnall, at 54, has won more than Solskjaer’s 52 tallies of his previous 99.
The much-maligned coach is tracking even better than Sir Alex Ferguson, so while he will distrust the previous eight centurions, only two of them, Sir Matt Busby and Tommy Docherty won their 100th game in command.
Picking up silverware is the next step for Solskjaer, and matches like Sunday’s, against a team without a point or a goal in the league so far this season, are exactly the kind they’ll need to win if they want to really challenge for him. qualification. finished.
There is no doubt that, on paper at least, Manchester United now has the squad to do just that after the summer arrivals of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, and now Ronaldo, but at Wolves, they are likely to face one more test. lasts for the embryonic to bind. I would suggest the table.
Bruno Lage’s team is 16th in the initial standings, one of the five teams that have yet to register a point and one of the three teams, along with Arsenal and Norwich City, that has also not reached the bottom of the table. net.
That doesn’t tell the full story though, as only Liverpool have attempted more shots than the Wolves’ 42 during the first two games, and only five teams boast a better-expected goal count.
The Midlands team is creating opportunities, then, but their problem has been pushing them away, something Adama Traore has been particularly guilty of with two nearly identical one-on-one chances already wasted this period.
If the Spaniard, whom Lage insists he won’t be leaving this summer, can find his shooting boots alongside the ever-present conundrum his pace and power wreak on defenders, then he could help boost the Wolves’ campaign, particularly. against a Manchester United team without a team. clean sheet in his last 10 starts in all competitions.
The Wolves found their rhythm in front of goal in the EFL Cup second round on Tuesday, with four different names on the score sheet as they defeated the Nottingham Forest championship team at The City Ground.
Another quick reunion with former boss Nuno Espirito Santo now awaits in the third round, as the Wolves will seek revenge after being defeated by Tottenham Hotspur in their last league outing.
That result turned them into back-to-back 1-0 losses to start the season, having also lost to Leicester City on opening day, and including the end of the last term, they have now lost five straight Premier League games.
They haven’t suffered six losses in a row since 2012, although their recent home record, five losses in their last seven outings, will not give them the confidence that they will be able to avoid that fate this weekend.
If that were the case, it would be the first time the Wolves have lost their first two home games of a top-flight season since 1970, and the first time they have lost consecutive league home games against Manchester United since December 1967.
Possible starting lineup for Wolverhampton Wanderers:
Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal; Trincao, Jiménez, Traore
Possible starting lineup for Manchester United:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Matic; Sancho, Fernandes, Pogba; Greenwood