Preview: United to do the double over Wolves? Antony on the left, Garnacho on the right? Hojlund to score again?

Wolverhampton Wanderers -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Monileux Stadium, Wolverhampton

Thursday 1 February 2023, KO 20:15 GMT

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Thursday as they travel to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in a must win fixture for Erik ten Hag. United returned to winning ways in a 4-2 victory over Newport County in the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

United’s form in January seems to have changed with the club going undefeated throughout the month – which involved just three matches; two in the FA Cup – both victories and one in the Premier League -a 2-2 draw with Spurs just over a fortnight ago. United need to keep this form.

United could be boosted with a number of players returning ahead of this match, which is great considering United have been inundated with injuries since the start of the season, one of the main problems for the club – which could well be on the cusp of changing. At Last!

United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Newport 4-2 W, Spurs 2-2 D, Wigan 2-0 W, Forest 2-1 L, Villa 3-2 W, West Ham 2-0 L

Goals: 8 – Rasmus Hojlund, 7 – Bruno Fernandes, 6 – Scott McTominay, 5 – Alejandro Garnacho, 4 – Casemiro, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Martial, 1 – Antony, Christian Eriksen, Hannibal, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Kobbe Mainoo, Raphael Varane

Assists: 5 – Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Alejandro Garnacho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Antony, Casemiro, Jonny Evans, Rasmus Hojlund, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Lisandro Martínez, Scott McTominay, Mason Mount, Facundo Pellistri, Luke Shaw

Wolves – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

West Brom 2-0 W, Brighton 0-0 D, Brentford 3-2 W, Brentford 1-1 D, Everton 3-0 W, Brentford 4-1 W

Goals: 11 – Hwang Hee-chan, 8 – Matheus Cunha, 4 – Mario Lemina, 3 – Matt Doherty, Sasa Kalajdzic, 2 – Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Nathan Fraser, Pedro Neto, 1 – Craig Dawson, Tommy Doyle, Maximilian Kilman, Pablo Sarabia, Nélson Semedo, Fábio Silva, Toti

Assists: 8 – Pedro Neto, Pablo Sarabia, 6 – Matheus Cunha, 3 – Hwang Hee-chan, 2 – Toti, 1 – Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Matt Doherty, Nathan Fraser, Sasa Kalajdzic, Maximilian Kilman, Nélson Semedo

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Wolves have met 19 times in the Premier League. United have won 12 times, drawn three times with Wolves winning four times. United have scored 28 goals in these matches, winning three penalties; scoring two. Wolves have scored 11 goals, winning no penalties.

United have kept 10 clean sheets in these matches with Wolves keeping three. Discipline has been an issue in the matches against Wolves. United players have been shown 34 yellow cards and one red card. Wolves players have been shown 30 yellow cards and one red card.

Jim McCalliog, Scott McGarvey, Darren Ferguson, Paul Ince, Denis Irwin, Darron Gibson and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have all played for United and Wolves during their careers. Irwin and Ince are probably the more well-known players having both done well at United.

Team News

Anthony Martial (groin), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Victor Lindelof (groin/hip/pelvic) and Sofyan Amrabat (internationals) are the only absent players ahead of the clash with Wolves. Andre Onana could be back in goal after Cameroon were knocked out of the competition.

Marcus Rashford (illness) has a 50% chance of featuring against Wolves on Thursday evening. Mason Mount (calf/shin/heel) has just a 25% chance of featuring for United and could be out for another week or so. Ten Hag’s squad is much stronger though.

Boubacar Traore (internationals) and Joao Gomes (suspended) are the only absent players for Wolves ahead of their clash with United on Thursday evening. Rayan Ait-Nouri was back in action in the FA Cup on Sunday whilst Pablo Sarabia and Hwang Hee-chan are both doubts.

Predicted United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Bayindir;

Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Amad, Fernandes, Garnacho;

Hojlund

Predicted Wolves Starting XI – 3-4-2-1

Sa;

Kilman, Dawson, Toti;

Semedo, Doyle, Lemina, Doherty;

Sarabia, Cunha;

Neto

Match Prediction

United showed that they can do the business on the pitch against Newport on Sunday with four goals being scored throughout the game, going 2-0 up, then 2-2 and winning 4-2 in the end. It seems that Ten Hag has the right ingredients at the club for it to thrive, at least for now.

Wolves have been a tough team for United in the past and United did beat them at the start of the season with a 1-0 victory with Raphael Varane scoring the only goal of the match. United have more of the injured players back and reaching fitness now, so that will be a big boost.

United will need to attack Wolves as they will attack United seeking to demoralise them and bully them into submission. Ten Hag’s team will need to stand firm and do the business on the pitch to get the important three points from the match, which is a must at this stage of the season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.