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Ratings: Phil Jones can hold his head up high after almost two-year injury layoff; the rest were not up to the standard in Wolves defeat

Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in the Premier League. It was a match that saw Phil Jones return to the centre of the defence almost three weeks shy of a two-year gap since his last first team fixture because of injury. However, despite Bruno Fernandes hitting the crossbar in the second half and Cristiano Ronaldo scoring an offside goal, United seemed to lack major inspiration in this match. It was Joao Moutinho who found the winner in the 82nd minute of the match which gave the struggling side three important points in the league in this outing.

United did not start so well against Wolves at the Theatre of Dreams. Despite Wolves not playing a match since their 0-0 draw with Chelsea on the 19 December, they seemed in good spirits as they tried to get the better of United from the first minute of the match. United seemed lackadaisical in attack, defence and in the midfield and seemed to struggle to string a pass together, which was a major worry. The team that started, despite being balanced, was unable to get the better of their visitors. There would be a problem for Rangnick to sort out in the match to guide his team to victory, or even avoid a defeat.

United had just five shots in the first half of the match – one of those on target which was not good enough for a team like United, who were playing at home. Wolves got the better of United in possession, shots, shots on target, also having more touches of the ball in the first half. David De Gea was United’s saviour of the first half, making some good saves to deny the opposition from scoring. Scott McTominay seemed to be fired up for this match, showing his aggression and determination for United to succeed. So many so-called supporter of the club hate him for playing well, also suggesting that he has no ability, but he matched Paul Pogba last season.

It was 0-0 at the end of the first half with both teams needing to dig deep to get something in the second half. There were no substitutions for their team at the break with both managers seemingly trying to see what they can gain from the start of the second half before changing anything. United seemed to be playing the same game at the start of the second half with Wolves more likely of getting ahead, which is not how it should be. Some of these United players need a shock to the system. McTominay became the first player booked in the 48th minute, followed by Luke Shaw eight minutes later – meaning his missed he league match at Villa.

United brought on Bruno Fernandes for Mason Greenwood in the 60th minute of the match and United seemed to gain something from that change with them looking more fluid. The Portuguese midfielder hit the crossbar minutes later which looked like he was about to score the first goal of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo scored minutes later, but he was ruled offside and United were back to trying to find a goal. Wolves then burst into life with United weathering the storm, at least so far. Adama Traore replaced Trincao in the 66th minute for Wolves and he was part of their burst to life in the attack.

United made their second substitution in the 75th minute, just after Nemanja Matic was booked, Marcus Rashford replaced Jadon Sancho, who has a largely positive game for United, seemingly starting to find his feet at the club – but still in search of his first goal under Rangnick’s rule. In the 81st minute of the match, Wolves brought on Fábio Silva for Raul Jimenez which seemed to start something – resulting in Joao Moutinho opening the scoring a minute later. It looked like this could be the first defeat for United under Rangnick and a victory at Old Trafford for the first time in around 40 years for Wolves.

United lacked any kind of inspiration against Wolves. The defeat was deserved and it shows an immense lack of respect by these players. They are lauded as heroes, get a great wage, have a job that they (apparently) love doing and are treated like superstars. Perhaps that is what is wrong with this game. Too much money involved and the people getting the money tend to become detached from the real world and instead of taking any of the blame themselves, point the fingers at other people, who may not be the problem. The same thing tends to happen at United from David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now Rangnick.

United will have a long week before facing Aston Villa in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup. Granted it will be a rest for these players, who have not exactly had a tough period of matches but they are all millionaires so they will deserve it (insert sarcasm here). Rangnick will need to find some answers as it seems that nothing has changed since Solskjaer and Michael Carrick left compared to when he arrived. United have lost yet another home game in the Premier League that they should have won. It was not a tough match and seems like some players are not putting in the kind of effort that is expected and if that is the case, they should be ashamed.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper made a superb save to deny Neves. He seemed to be full of confidence as made other saves, which perhaps were not so direct in becoming goals. He had little chance with Moutinho's effort which won the match for Wolves. Could do with adding leadership to his game and commanding his back four.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Seemed to play well in the first half, seeing a few crosses evade the attacking players. The second half was poor to say the least. Dalot should have started. Wan-Bissaka needs to impress to win his place back. He's showing too many negative aspects of his game which is starting to show he's not suitable for United.

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19 Raphael Varane

The Frenchman was solid at times and was better against Jimenez than he was against Newcastle's attacking players. This defence needs some steel though.

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4 Phil Jones

First match for the first team in almost two years. His passing was spot on. He has been blamed for the defeat but some organisations seem to forget this is a team game. The midfield gave the ball away after his clearance. That's not his fault. He was the better player for United and he did not deserve this defeat.

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23 Luke Shaw

Got done over by Traore which resulted in the winning goal for Wolves. His attacking was not as good as it was against Burnley. United need him in good form all of the time.

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11 Mason Greenwood

His attacking was bright in the first half and for spells in the second. Perhaps had too much left for him to achieve. Replaced by Fernandes on the hour.

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31 Nemanja Matic

There was some positivity to his game but more negatives. United need to bring in a much younger defensive minded midfielder, and soon. Seemed to show his age as the game grew on. He should not be relied on this much.

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39 Scott McTominay

Started after being the MOTM against Burnley. Had some desire to win but lacked the instinct and footballing intelligence to achieve that. Moutinho and Neves got the better of him at times and his booking should have resulted in a substitution.

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25 Jadon Sancho

Seemed to fit the measure of United's attack, but also looked a player wide from achieving things. It was not a poor performance just from him., but he needs to find consistency. Replaced by Rashford in the 75th minute.

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21 Edinson Cavani

Spent much of the game dropping back when he should have had creativity behind him. It was just not meant to be in this match. Should maybe have been substituted?

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7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Scored but it was offside. Made a mistake that Jimenez could have scored from. United's strike force should be better than this.

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Substitutes

18 Bruno Fernandes

Replaced Greenwood 60'. Had the chance to score for United but hit the crossbar. Did kind of inspire United to become better on his introduction.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Sancho 75'. Could have had a goal, but of late he's not been in any sort of form, hence why he's not starting. Needs to buck up his ideas to win his place back with fine form, but seems to be struggling to do just that.

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36 Anthony Elanga

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 84'. Came on very late into the match. Could have been a threat with his pace and skill if brought on earlier. Could not get anything from this game.

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Goals: Joao Moutinho 82′

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Elanga 84′), Varane, Jones, Shaw; Greenwood (Fernandes 60′), Matic, McTominay, Sancho (Rashford 75′); Cavani, Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Dalot, Telles; Lingard, Fred, Van de Beek

Bookings: Scott McTominay 48′, Luke Shaw 56′, Nemanja Matic 74′; Jose Sa 90+4′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Ronaldo and Cavani lead the attack against Wolves; Jones starts in defence – Maguire not involved

Manchester United will face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in the Premier League this evening, the second of a triple header at the Theatre of Dreams which will end with Aston Villa facing United in the Emirates FA Cup a week after this match. United have had a turbulent last few months with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being sacked and Michael Carrick leaving the club. Ralf Rangnick has not had the start he wanted with matches against Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion being postponed because of the coronavirus. United will need to start winning these matches to get into a better league position at this stage of the season.

United beat Burnley in their last match, scoring three goals – one of them was an own goal by Burnley. Scott McTominay scored his first goal of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 14th which was not a perfect match for United but it does not matter when three goals were scored and all three points were in the bag. United have a busy January coming up but they do have a seven day break between this Wolves match and the Emirates FA Cup third round clash with Aston Villa with Steven Gerrard returning to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time as a manager in the Premier League.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Jones, Shaw;

Greenwood, Matic, McTominay, Sancho;

Cavani, Ronaldo

Substitutes:

Henderson; Dalot, Telles; Lingard, Fred, Fernandes, Van de Beek; Rashford, Elanga

Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Sa;

Kilman, Coady, Saids;

Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal;

Podence, Jimenez, Trincao

Substitutes:

Ruddy; Hoever, Ait-Nouri, Bueno; Jordao, Dendoncker, Cundle; Silva, Traore

United and Wolves have played a total of 15 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won nine matches, drawing three with Wolves winning the remaining three matches. United have scored a total of 24 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. Wolves have scored ten goals, winning no penalties. United have kept a total of seven clean sheets with Wolves keeping a total of two in these matches. United players have been shown a total of 23 yellow cards and one red cards with Wolves players shown a total of 23 yellow cards and one red card. United will need to be at the top of their game to win this one.

There have been a few players to have played for both United and Wolves. In the 1973/74 season, Jim McCalliog was sold to United, making 38 appearances and scoring seven goals for the club. Scott McGarvey was loaned to Wolves in the 1984/85 season with Darren Ferguson being sold to the club in he 1993/94 season. Paul Ince, who had previously played for United, signed for Wolves in the 2002/03 season, the same season that Denis Irwin left, making 529 appearances, scoring 33 goals. Darron Gibson was loaned to Wolves in the 2007/08 season and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was loaned to the club during the 2016/17 season.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-4-2] Fernandes in the centre of the midfield could create a deep-lying playmaker role; wingers need to help Ronaldo and Cavani

Manchester United will face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Monday evening, the second of a triple header at the Theatre of Dreams which will end with Aston Villa facing United in the Emirates FA Cup a week after this match. United have had a turbulent last few months with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being sacked and Michael Carrick leaving the club. Ralf Rangnick has not had the start he wanted with matches against Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion being postponed because of the coronavirus. United will need to start winning these matches to get into a better league position at this stage of the season.

United beat Burnley in their last match, scoring three goals – one of them was an own goal by Burnley. Scott McTominay scored his first goal of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 14th which was not a perfect match for United but it does not matter when three goals were scored and all three points were in the bag. United have a busy January coming up but they do have a seven day break between this Wolves match and the Emirates FA Cup third round clash with Aston Villa with Steven Gerrard returning to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time as a manager in the Premier League.

Previous meetings with Wolverhampton Wanderers and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Wolves have played a total of 15 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won nine matches, drawing three with Wolves winning the remaining three matches. United have scored a total of 24 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. Wolves have scored ten goals, winning no penalties. United have kept a total of seven clean sheets with Wolves keeping a total of two in these matches. United players have been shown a total of 23 yellow cards and one red cards with Wolves players shown a total of 23 yellow cards and one red card. United will need to be at the top of their game to win this one.

There have been a few players to have played for both United and Wolves. In the 1973/74 season, Jim McCalliog was sold to United, making 38 appearances and scoring seven goals for the club. Scott McGarvey was loaned to Wolves in the 1984/85 season with Darren Ferguson being sold to the club in he 1993/94 season. Paul Ince, who had previously played for United, signed for Wolves in the 2002/03 season, the same season that Denis Irwin left, making 529 appearances, scoring 33 goals. Darron Gibson was loaned to Wolves in the 2007/08 season and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was loaned to the club during the 2016/17 season.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea is the best goalkeeper at the club this season, based on current form. He does what a United goalkeeper needs to be doing, despite the number of goals conceded this season. United seem to have found some kind of form since the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the departure of Michael Carrick – I am not scapegoating either of them – it is just what tends to happen. There is always a honeymoon period under a new manager and a few weeks or months later, you can see the kind of structure the new manager will implement and either results continue or there is a period of time where things are bad again.

At the moment, United may be uninspiring but in the first five matches of Rangnick’s reign of the club, they have conceded just three goals, keeping two clean sheets. To include that in Carrick’s interim period too, over his three matches in charge, three more goals were conceded with one clean sheet. United are in effect unbeaten in their last eight matches, scoring 13 goals, conceding six goals and keeping three clean sheets. It is not something that is going to propel them to the top of the Premier League, but it is a key indication that some problems have been ironed out, which will end up being fully solved in a period of time.

Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

Despite conceding a few goals since Solskjaer’s sacking, United have been more defensively astute at times, which still needs more control and resurgence. Diogo Dalot has taken the chance that he has been given post-Solskjaer and lastly become the first-choice right-back at the club based on his ability to attack. His defensive abilities will need to be built on but with the formations United have been playing in recently, an attacking fullback, ideally on both sides is required. Luke Shaw also returned to his best form against Burnley, seemingly turning a corner on the poor form and injury which saw Alex Telles claim the position.

Both Dalot and Shaw should be starting against Wolves as that should set United up nicely, at least in an attacking sense in defence. Harry Maguire has been scapegoated as the problem in the defence this season which was partly because of his form – which is no guarantee for any player. The modern fan seems to compare actual players which their pixel version on computer games, which seems a strange things to be doing. Maguire was missed at he end of last season and probably the same people were worried about that. Raphael Varane has since returned from injury and will find form again and he and Maguire should both start against Wolves.

Midfield: Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay

United’s midfield is one of the major problems that needs to be solved at the club. There is no defensive steel in the midfield and there are many problems based on the quality of the players at the club currently. Gone are the days of having players like Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, Nobby Styles and Paul Scholes, although United have a player similar in quality to Scholes in Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese magnifico was suspended for the Burnley match and will be back in contention to win his place back in the squad against Wolves. With a 4-2-2-2 or 4-4-2 formation with wingers, Fernandes is wasted out wide.

There is nothing stopping Fernandes from playing in a number six role, seemingly as a deep-lying playmaker, which is what Scholes used to do for United. Of course, the wingers will need to be at their best to accommodate this as with Fernandes in an advanced position, he was more open to scoring or assisting the goals. Alongside him against Wolves could be Scott McTominay, who scored against Burnley and could have had more than one goal. Used as a defensive player by Jose Mourinho, McTominay has the ability to be the other player in the midfield, maybe until the problem in the midfield has been solved.

Wingers: Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford

United’s wingers, played in either a 4-2-2-2 formation, which is effectively similar to a 4-4-2 formation with wingers as opposed to left and right midfielders. There are distinguishing factors that separate the two formations, but United would be better in a 4-4-2 with wingers than the 4-2-2-2 as with the players currently in the squad, the 4-2-2-2 formation has not been working as well as it could with a few different players in the squad. Jadon Sancho had a tough start to his career at United, which saw many or the rabble who moaned about him not signing for the club in 2020 criticising him and suggesting that he was another flop.

Again, it seems to be the same people who compare a real life player to one forms of many pixels on a computer game, seeking the same form – which is not likely to happen because of ‘real life’. Sancho scored two goals under Carrick and could have had a third against Burnley, which was adjudged to be a Ben Mee own goal, which matter not as United ended up winning that match – which is all that really matters. Marcus Rashford should occupy the left-wing role against Wolves as his time on the bench should have shown him what he needs to be doing to find his form again. If this works, it could be great for United.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani

Ever since Edinson Cavani returned from injury, United seemed to have better stock in the attacking ranks. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals and three assists so far this season, with Cavani on two goals, meaning the duo have contributed 20 goal scoring actions this season, which with a combined age of 70 is a good rate. Age is just a number, or so they say. United should be playing two forwards from now on as they will help United get back up to speed. Granted, there will need to be rotation at times and with Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial (for now) and Anthony Elanga – there are many options there.

Ronaldo is the man to find the goals and keep United scoring in matches and his presence in the attacking ranks is second to none. But when the service is not there, Ronaldo struggles and it is shown by his actions. Keeping Ronaldo happy and United scoring have the same solution – creativity, hard work and determination. Cavani is the same, if there is no service, he is an isolated figure but the pair of them can create space for each other as they have a great standard of finishing. Ronaldo is lethal in most aspects of attack with Cavani specifically lethal in headed goals. He scored a few of them last season. This duo is world class.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Phil Jones, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Jesse Lingard, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek; Mason Greenwood, Anthony Elanga

United can name nine substitutes on the bench in the Premier League, using just three of them despite Rangnick’s support for five substitutes in the league. This is something that smaller clubs argue against because of the advantage of the bigger clubs. Perhaps they want the bigger clubs to have a player less in the starting XI’s to give them more chance? I would expect to see Dean Henderson on the bench as he seems to have been told that he’s going nowhere this month, despite being linked with an exit. Phil Jones and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be available in defence, should they be needed.

In midfield, which is a problem area for United could see the likes of Jesse Lingard, Fred, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek on the bench, although the latter has been a figure of ever-presence on the bench, not being granted many minutes n the pitch, which seems to have continued from Solskjaer’s spell, into Carrick’s and now Rangnick’s. In attack, which is an area that is of strength for United this season, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga could be available. Anthony Martial, despite his unhappiness, is still out with a knee injury and not likely to feature in this match and maybe any others if he is allowed to leave this month.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Wolves could be a challenge but a 4-4-2 formation utilising the wingers could work for United

Manchester United -v- Wolverhampton Wanderers

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Monday 3 January 2022, KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Darren Cann, Eddie Smart

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick

Manchester United will face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Monday evening, the second of a triple header at the Theatre of Dreams which will end with Aston Villa facing United in the Emirates FA Cup a week after this match. United have had a turbulent last few months with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being sacked and Michael Carrick leaving the club. Ralf Rangnick has not had the start he wanted with matches against Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion being postponed because of the coronavirus. United will need to start winning these matches to get into a better league position at this stage of the season.

United beat Burnley in their last match, scoring three goals – one of them was an own goal by Burnley. Scott McTominay scored his first goal of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 14th which was not a perfect match for United but it does not matter when three goals were scored and all three points were in the bag. United have a busy January coming up but they do have a seven day break between this Wolves match and the Emirates FA Cup third round clash with Aston Villa with Steven Gerrard returning to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time as a manager in the Premier League.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WDWDWW

Burnley 3-1 W, Newcastle United 1-1 D, Norwich City 1-0 W, Young Boys 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 1-0 W, Arsenal 3-2 W

Goals: 14 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 5 – Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, 3 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Edinson Cavani, Fred, Jesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Own Goal, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek

Assists: 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 7 – Paul Pogba, 3 – Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic 1 – Fred, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Raphael Varane

Wolverhampton Wanderers – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: DWLLDD

Chelsea 0-0 D, Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 W, Manchester City 1-0 L, Liverpool 1-0 L, Burnley 0-0 D, Norwich City 0-0 D

Goals: 4 – Hwang Hee-Chan, 3 – Raúl Jiménez, Romain Saïss, 2 – Daniel Podence, 1 – Conor Coady, Leander Dendoncker, Morgan Gibbs-White, Maximilian Kilman, Rúben Neves, Trincão

Assists: 2 – Rayan Aït-Nouri, Leander Dendoncker, Raúl Jiménez, Daniel Podence, Fábio Silva, 1 – Ki-Jana Hoever, Rúben Neves, José Sá

Previous meetings with Wolverhampton Wanderers and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Wolves have played a total of 15 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won nine matches, drawing three with Wolves winning the remaining three matches. United have scored a total of 24 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. Wolves have scored ten goals, winning no penalties. United have kept a total of seven clean sheets with Wolves keeping a total of two in these matches. United players have been shown a total of 23 yellow cards and one red cards with Wolves players shown a total of 23 yellow cards and one red card. United will need to be at the top of their game to win this one.

There have been a few players to have played for both United and Wolves. In the 1973/74 season, Jim McCalliog was sold to United, making 38 appearances and scoring seven goals for the club. Scott McGarvey was loaned to Wolves in the 1984/85 season with Darren Ferguson being sold to the club in he 1993/94 season. Paul Ince, who had previously played for United, signed for Wolves in the 2002/03 season, the same season that Denis Irwin left, making 529 appearances, scoring 33 goals. Darron Gibson was loaned to Wolves in the 2007/08 season and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was loaned to the club during the 2016/17 season.

Team News: United could be without three first team players for the visit of Wolves, who could be missing a total of seven first team players – despite not playing for 15 days.

Paul Pogba (Thigh) and Victor Lindelof (Coronavirus) are the only players which seem to have been ruled out of the visit of Wolves on Monday evening. Although, if Lindelof tests negative, there is a chance he could be involved but his fitness would be lacking having not trained with his teammates. Anthony Martial (Knee) has a 50% chance of featuring but it seems more realistic that the Emirates FA Cup clash with Aston Villa would be more likely for him to find involvement. Bruno Fernandes will return following a one-match suspension for the victory over Burnley.

Willy Boly (Calf), Pedro Neto (Knee), Rayan Ait Nouri (Groin/Hip/Pelvis), Hee-Chan Hwang (Thigh), Jonny Castro Otto (Knee) and Yerson Mosquera (Thigh) hae all been ruled out of the visit to the Theatre of Dreams on Monday evening. Fabio Silva (Coronavirus) has been out of action due to testing positive for Covid-19 but a lack of first team training leaves him with a 50% chance of being involved against United. Wolves have not played since the 0-0 draw with Chelsea on the 19 December so could find themselves struggle having not had a competitive match for the last 15 days. United could have an advantage here and they need to win.

Predicted Starting XI: Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani to lead the attack? Bruno Fernandes to play in the centre of the midfield wit Scott McTominay? Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho on the wings?

Rangnick will need to cope with fatigue in his squad for this match and will have to rotate some players in his squad. At the time of writing, three players looked likely to miss the visit of Wolves on Monday evening but United have a good squad to cope with those absences. The victory over Burnley saw United play a better grade of football compared to the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United days four days prior. Although, the second half performance was not the best but United did the work in the first half to seal the victory. This match could be a tough one for United and they will need to be at the top of their game to take the points.

I would expect David De Gea to continue on goal for the first match of 2022, based on his current form, which leaves him undroppable. Diogo Dalot should return to the right-back role with Luke Shaw keeping his place at left-back. Harry Maguire will continue to start for United and Raphael Varane should start alongside him, having started on the bench against Burnley. Rangnick will probably continue with that 4-2-2-2 formation, which is in effect a 4-4-2 with wingers. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford should start this match with Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes in the middle. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani lead the attack.

Match Prediction: United did the double over Wolves last season and have already beaten them this season so getting three points in the bag is what United will need to be doing. Rangnick has not lost yet…

Last season, United did the double over Wolves, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford on the 29 December 2020 with Marcus Rashford, assisted by Bruno Fernandes scoring the only goal of the match. At the end of last season at the Molineux, United won 2-1. Anthony Elanga, assisted by Daniel James opened the scoring in the 13th minute of the match. Nelson Semedo, assisted by Fabio Silva equalised in the 39th minute of the match. United won the match in added time at the end of the first half with Juan Mata scoring from the penalty spot. It was not the end of the season that United wanted, confirming second place in the Premier League.

This will be the second time that United have faced Wolves this season. United won 1-0 at the Molineux with Mason Greenwood, assisted by Raphael Varane in the 80th minute of the match. United have not been in the best form this season and will be seeking to gain the points to propel them back into the top four in the Premier League. United still have two matches to play after the Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion matches were postponed. Rangnick will need to solve the problems in the squad sooner or later and with the January transfer window vastly approaching, there is no time like the present.

Manchester United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Written by John Walker

Ratings: De Gea MOTM after some great saves; Varane and Greenwood also in contention in Wolves victory

Manchester United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at the Molineux Stadium on Sunday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Raphael Varane his debut, also starting Jadon Sancho for the first time. It looked ropey from the start as Wolves seemed to control the game in the early stages with Fred looking the weak link in the centre of the midfield. It was a pretty lacklustre encounter until the 80th minute when Mason Greenwood scored his third goal of the season on the opening three matches. Varane assisted in the goal and also helped to keep a clean sheet but it was David De Gea’s heroics that saved the day for United with his two quick-fire saves showing the best of his ability once again. This could be the start of something good for United and De Gea this season. The international break comes now with a rest for some.

Wolves started the match at a canter pushing forward from the very first minute of the match. How they did not score was only down to their poor finishing. United just did not have the presence in midfield to control the game and Fred started with another stinker, although he did get better as theme grew on but he’s still not the answer to the midfield problems. I don’t think Fred should be playing as he lets the team down with poor passing and bad decision-making, although he has been largely positive since the mistake he made that could have cost United. Something needs to give as this midfield will end up letting United down this season and it will not matter what forwards are playing, the lack of control in the midfield is problematic and should be a lot better than this. United were lucky to end the first half not conceding a single goal.

There were no changes by either team at the start of the second half, although that should have happened for United with Fred having such a bad match and Daniel James not all that far behind him. Raphael Varane shows his defensive ability in the 52nd minute to make an important block to stop a goal scoring chance from being created by Wolves, which shows why Solskjaer has brought him to United. Cracking show of hunger and desire to stop United from going one down. United made their first substitution in the 54th minute of the match with Edinson Cavani making his first appearances this season, replacing Daniel James, who had been more of a hindrance than a help in this match. A loan spell away from the club, unless he was to be sold, might benefit him moving forward but he’s below the level he should be in the Premier League at this time.

Wolves were still banging on the door in the 68th minute of the match, winning a corner and pressing for he opening goal. David De Gea made two quick fire saves to deny them from taking the lead, which could signal the rise of his form once again, which is a positive from the match at this stage. United need to find something otherwise it could be another embarrassing match again which will just signal to the muppets that want Solskjaer to be sacked to continue their monotonous moronic tone just so they can say they were right. Solskjaer made his second substitution of the match with Anthony Martial replacing Jadon Sancho, who had an energetic match but was unable to help United break the deadlock. Hopefully, the Frenchman will raise his form and help United into a winning position, rather than this stagnant draw at this stage of the match.

United opened the scoring in the 80th minute through none other than Mason Greenwood who has scored his third goal in three matches so far this season. The assist came from Raphael Varane on his debut. There was a slight delay to the celebration as Ruben Neves seemed to be hurt following a clash with Paul Pogba but on review, the goal was allowed as the Portuguese midfielder seemed to be initially alright, taking a few steps before feigning injury. He was booked a minute later with Romain Saiss and Fred also being booked. United has their goal and probably needed more to avert the three of Wolves, despite them being poor in this match. Solskjaer made his final change in the 89th minute of the match with Diogo Dalot replacing Greenwood with United looking to defend their lead in what could be their 28th match unbeaten on the road in the league.

There was a flurry of bookings in added time with Morgan Gibbs-White, Diogo Dalot and Paul Pogba all being shown a yellow card for various things. United were still defending their lead and Wolves were still poor and deserving of the result in this match. Having more attempts but being poor at it does not mean that you deserve anything special from the match It is the goals that count and United scored one of those with their one Star Boy finding the back of the net in each of the first three Premier League matches this season. United ground out the win, an important three points which sees them rise to third in the league this season. Arsenal, Norwich City and Wolves sit at the bottom with nil points. Newcastle United are on the cards for United on the 11 September which could also be the second debut of one Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Not really tested on goal in the first half despite Wolves having the majority of the shots. Made a few good saves, including a quick-fire double save in the second half, which kept United in the match. Man of the Match for me today. Glad to see the real De Gea back.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Blocked what could have been a goal, which was good to see. Should be putting more of a shirt further forward, but he's a defensive fullback, which is his strong point. United's attack was not the best today.

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19 Raphael Varane

Made his presence known in the first half and seemed assured defensively. Clean sheet, assist and a contender for Man of the Match but De Gea took it for me. Great debut and can't wait to see more of him this season.

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5 Harry Maguire

Dominant in defence, both aerially and on the ground. Has found a new partner which should be great for United. Wolves were the better side for much of the match but United got a smash and grab and got the three points, which is the important part.

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23 Luke Shaw

Not his best day on the left but he played his part. Took one for the team early on - straight in the family jewels. Did more defending than attacking today, which will inevitably be needed throughout the season, at stages.

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17 Fred

Lost possession five times in the first half alone, won one of six ground duels and was dribbled past four times. Midfield enforcer is not what Fred is. Terrible performance and the only light is that both De Gea and Wan-Bissaka saved his skin.

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6 Paul Pogba

Played a deeper role and his output suffered because of it. Not the formation for him, but things could change after the international break. He was better in the second half as he played further forward. He's had an impressive start to the season though.

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25 Jadon Sancho

His first start may not be memorable with him scoring or assisting a goal but he played his part with 87.5% pass success, but that was his main positive. He made an error which led to a shot and was not successful with his dribble attempt or hie duels. It is early days for him but that won't stop the negative fans from writing him off already. It takes time to find perfection. Replaced by Martial in the 72nd minute.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Not having the best match for United. Booked for dissent and seem annoyed about that at the break. Found the back of the net but was ruled offside. A frustrating day for the Portuguese magnifico.

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Ratings: De Gea MOTM after some great saves; Varane and Greenwood also in contention in Wolves victory

The Welsh winger did not have the best performance against Wolves. He lost the ball ten times, committed one foul, had one shot off target and crossed the ball twice - facing to find a teammate twice. He had one key pass which came to nothing and showed a weakness at this level. Perhaps a loan spell away from United might benefit him? He was replaced by Cavani in the 54th minute.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Had the chance to score at the end of the first half and although he beat his man, his shot was low and wide, which was a shame. Got his goal ten minutes from time, scoring his third goal in three matches. What a season he is going to have if it continues like this. Another Man of the Match contender, but De Gea gets iit ahead of him.

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Substitutes

21 Edinson Cavani

Replaced James 54'. Covered a lot of the pitch but in terms of playing with the ball, he did not see much of it. He's rusty and will take time for him to be fully match fit.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Sancho 72'. Another worrying sign with the Frenchman having no impact in this match. One of these days he will be surplus to requirements, if not already. His form is worrying, he does not seem to want to put it right - at least that is how it feels.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Greenwood 90'. Came on at the death of the match and played added time to add more defensive surety to the team. Booked for a challenge but that does not matter. United got the result they needed.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 80′

Assists: Raphael Varane 80′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Pogba; Sancho (Martial 72′), Fernandes, James (Cavani 54′); Greenwood (Dalot 90′)

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Lindelof; Mata, Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek

Bookings: Ruben Neves 81′, Romain Says 84′, Morgan Gibbs-White 90+2′; Bruno Fernandes 44′, Fred 84′, Diogo Dalot 90+3′, Paul Pogba 90+3′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Sancho and Varane start; Cavani and Van de Beek on the bench against Wolves

Manchester United are once again on the road in the Premier League this afternoon as they travel to face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium. Last weekend, a 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s saw United equal Arsenal’s 27-match away unbeaten record in the league, meaning that if they avoid defeat against Wolves, the record will be theirs. This will be a good weekend for United, who are fresh from the announcement that Cristiano Ronaldo will be returning to the Theatre of Dreams this summer after leaving Juventus and being linked with Manchester City, which seemed likely to happen then on Friday morning, rumours were rife and by the afternoon, United made the announcement that Ronaldo is coming home. What a day. United need a midfielder this summer, but might not end up with one – which is a shame.

At the time of writing, United sit tenth in the Premier League table with four points from a possible six. A victory over Wolves with give them seven points and keep them up their in the top quarter of the table, which is what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking ahead of the first International break of the season. The summer transfer window will close on Tuesday evening here in the UK so there is time for something to happen, but whether it does will be reliant on whether United can offload players who do not really have much of a future at the club. It has not happened so far this summer, so seems unlikely but after what happened on Friday, never say never. United’s start to the season has been better than last season, but there is still a long way to go. Solskjaer’s side got positive news of their UEFA Champions League group too, so onwards and upwards.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, Pogba;

Sancho, Fernandes, James;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Heaton; Lindelof, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek; Cavani, Martial

Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Sa;

Kilman, Coady, Saiss;

Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal;

Trincao, Jimenez, Traore

Substitutes:

Ruddy, Hoever, Ait-Nouri, Podence, Boly, Silva, Gibba-White, Dendoncker, Cundle

United and Wolves have met a total of 14 times in the Premier League. United have won a total of eight matches, drawing three with Wolves winning three times. United have scored 23 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. Wolves has scored ten goals and are yet to win a penalty against United. The Red Devils have kept a total of six clean sheets with Wolves keeping two. Despite so few matches being played in the Premier League, the discipline issues between the two clubs is high with United players being shown 19 yellow cards and one red card and Wolves players being show 20 yellow cards and one red card. This match will be a tricky one for United, as all matches against Wolves are. United won 2-1 in this fixture last season, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford. It is set to be another close encounter against a team that can be difficult.

In recent history, there have been a few players to have played for both United and Wolves. In the 1973/74 season, Jim McCalliog was sold to United for just £60,000, making 38 appearances and scoring seven goals for the club. Scott McGarvey was loaned to Wolves in the 1984/85 season with Darren Ferguson, the son of Sir Alex Ferguson, being sold to the club in he 1993/94 season. Paul Ince, who had previously played for United, signed for Wolves as a free agent in the 2002/03 season, the same season that Denis Irwin left United after making 529 appearances, scoring 33 goals in an almost 12 year stay at United. More recently, Darron Gibson was loaned to Wolves in the 2007/08 season with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson the last player to be loaned to the club during the 2016/17 season. There will be more history between the club, if you do a deeper dive.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Varane and Sancho to start against Wolves; Pogba, Fernandes and Greenwood to shine again?

Manchester United are once again on the road in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon as they travel to face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium. Last weekend, a 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s saw United equal Arsenal’s 27-match away unbeaten record in the league, meaning that if they avoid defeat against Wolves, the record will be theirs. This will be a good weekend for United, who are fresh from the announcement that Cristiano Ronaldo will be returning to the Theatre of Dreams this summer after leaving Juventus and being linked with Manchester City, which seemed likely to happen then on Friday morning, rumours were rife and by the afternoon, United made the announcement that Ronaldo is coming home. What a day. United need a midfielder this summer, but might not end up with one – which is a shame.

At the time of writing, United sit tenth in the Premier League table with four points from a possible six. A victory over Wolves with give them seven points and keep them up their in the top quarter of the table, which is what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking ahead of the first International break of the season. The summer transfer window will close on Tuesday evening here in the UK so there is time for something to happen, but whether it does will be reliant on whether United can offload players who do not really have much of a future at the club. It has not happened so far this summer, so seems unlikely but after what happened on Friday, never say never. United’s start to the season has been better than last season, but there is still a long way to go. Solskjaer’s side got positive news of their UEFA Champions League group too, so onwards and upwards.

Previous meetings with Wolverhampton Wanderers and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Wolves have met a total of 14 times in the Premier League. United have won a total of eight matches, drawing three with Wolves winning three times. United have scored 23 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. Wolves has scored ten goals and are yet to win a penalty against United. The Red Devils have kept a total of six clean sheets with Wolves keeping two. Despite so few matches being played in the Premier League, the discipline issues between the two clubs is high with United players being shown 19 yellow cards and one red card and Wolves players being show 20 yellow cards and one red card. This match will be a tricky one for United, as all matches against Wolves are. United won 2-1 in this fixture last season, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford. It is set to be another close encounter against a team that can be difficult.

In recent history, there have been a few players to have played for both United and Wolves. In the 1973/74 season, Jim McCalliog was sold to United for just £60,000, making 38 appearances and scoring seven goals for the club. Scott McGarvey was loaned to Wolves in the 1984/85 season with Darren Ferguson, the son of Sir Alex Ferguson, being sold to the club in he 1993/94 season. Paul Ince, who had previously played for United, signed for Wolves as a free agent in the 2002/03 season, the same season that Denis Irwin left United after making 529 appearances, scoring 33 goals in an almost 12 year stay at United. More recently, Darron Gibson was loaned to Wolves in the 2007/08 season with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson the last player to be loaned to the club during the 2016/17 season. There will be more history between the club, if you do a deeper dive.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League at the Molineux on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has played in the first two Premier League match of the season and looks set to continue in goal against Wolves on Sunday. Despite conceding twice in the last two matches, United have played well, as has the Spaniard. He has made some good saves and seems to be in control of his area after a turbulent time at United and the fact he seems to have lost his place in the Spain squad, at least at this moment in time to Unai Simon, who played in both Euro 2020 and the Olympics for the country. De Gea will be determined to keep his number one position at United this season, despite the challenge from both Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton, who both have good qualities in the position. Solskjaer will have some good rotation options for the season, which bodes well as United will be seeking to challenge on all four fronts in their pursuit of a trophy.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

The long-awaited debut for Raphael Varane could happen on Sunday against Wolves. It has been a fortnight since his signing was announced ahead of that 5-1 victory over Leeds United and despite being on the bench last weekend, he was an unused substitute. Starting in the centre of defence with his new partner, Harry Maguire could bring a new calmness and assured way of playing from the back, which could be good for United. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw look set to keep their places, although Diogo Dalot will be on the sidelines seeking his chance in other position with the injury to Alex Telles keeping him from challenge Shaw in the left-back role and the loan spell of Brandon Williams at Norwich City for the 2021/22 season. It could be a good season for United, who also have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones to rely on.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek

The midfield is a problem area for United at this time. Scott McTominay could be out for a month or longer after groin surgery this week, which is problematic but also gives other players a chance to form a bond in this position. It seems to be good for Donny van de Beek, who should start in this match alongside Nemanja Matic, who has rested for the past week and should be able to play once again. It may not be ideal as United need a new midfielder to challenge on all fronts this season, but it is something that has to be tried for the benefit of the team. Of course, Victor Lindelof could play a defensive midfield role, which he has done at Benfica 22 times, scoring three goals and two assists from the position. Some will rule this out but nothing tried, nothing ventured, right? United should bring in an enforcer type player who could allow his partner to play freely.

Attacking Midfield: Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba

Excitement is coming. Jadon Sancho could start his first match for United against Wolves. He has featured against both Leeds United and Southampton over the past fortnight but needs to start to find his feet in the Premier League, which will be a challenge for him. Last season in the Bundesliga, he managed 16 goals and 20 assists in all competitions, so has the skill and determination to raise his game in the Premier League. Bruno Fernandes already has a hat-trick this season and will be seeking to find more goals for United, especially after a disappointing display against the Saints last week. His excitement will be raised with his compatriot, Cristiano Ronaldo returning to the Theatre of Dreams this summer. Paul Pogba has five assists so far this season and will be looking to improve on that. He’s in some good form at this stage, which is admirable and needs to last.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood has started the season with two goals in two matches, which shows the breakthrough he has made since earning his debut at the club. Under Solskjaer, he has become a player that oozes confidence, desire and determination and is always looking for space to assist or even score goals. It is great to see yet another academy graduate make the first team and have the talent to reach high levels in the game. Having him at the club this season will be a bedding in period for him as he will be seeking to play a more central role when he can, which has happened because of Edinson Cavani coming back late after playing in Copa America and having more time off in his native Uruguay. In year or two, Greenwood could become a household name in the same way as Marcus Rashford before him, trending on the same path to greatness.

Substitutes: Tom Heaton; Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Fred, Daniel James; Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial

Nine players are now to be named on the bench in the Premier League with three of them able to be used in matches. Solskjaer will have some depth on the bench, especially with the new signings in the starting positions and Cristiano Ronaldo yet to implement in the squad. Tom Heaton will likely be the goalkeeper on the bench as he travelled with the first team. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot could be available with Eric Bailly missing out due to fitness. In midfield, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard (who could be days away from leaving the club), Fred and Daniel James (who could also leave next week) will be available. In the forward positions, Edinson Cavani could feature for the first time this season with Anthony Martial the other forward, despite the fact his season has started poorly with supporters wondering if he himself could leave?

Written by John Walker

Preview: Manchester United to set 28 Premier League away match undefeated record against Wolves?

Wolverhampton Wanderers -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton

Sunday 29 August 2021, KO 16:30 BST

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Darren Cann, Dan Robathan

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Neil Davies

Manchester United are once again on the road in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon as they travel to face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium. Last weekend, a 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s saw United equal Arsenal’s 27-match away unbeaten record in the league, meaning that if they avoid defeat against Wolves, the record will be theirs. This will be a good weekend for United, who are fresh from the announcement that Cristiano Ronaldo will be returning to the Theatre of Dreams this summer after leaving Juventus and being linked with Manchester City, which seemed likely to happen then on Friday morning, rumours were rife and by the afternoon, United made the announcement that Ronaldo is coming home. What a day. United need a midfielder this summer, but might not end up with one – which is a shame.

At the time of writing, United sit tenth in the Premier League table with four points from a possible six. A victory over Wolves with give them seven points and keep them up their in the top quarter of the table, which is what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking ahead of the first International break of the season. The summer transfer window will close on Tuesday evening here in the UK so there is time for something to happen, but whether it does will be reliant on whether United can offload players who do not really have much of a future at the club. It has not happened so far this summer, so seems unlikely but after what happened on Friday, never say never. United’s start to the season has been better than last season, but there is still a long way to go. Solskjaer’s side got positive news of their UEFA Champions League group too, so onwards and upwards.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: DWWDLW

Southampton 1-1 D, Leeds United 5-1 W, Everton 4-0 W, Brentford 2-2 D, Queens Park Rangers 4-2 L, Derby County 2-1 W

Goals: 3 – Bruno Fernandes, 2 – Mason Greenwood, 1 – Fred

Assists: 5 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Victor Lindelof

Wolverhampton Wanderers – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WLLLWD

Nottingham Forest 4-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 L, Leicester City 1-0 L, Celta Vigo 1-0 L, Coventry City 2-1 W, Stoke City 1-1 D

Goals: 1 – Morgan Gibbs-White, Daniel Podence, Francisco Trincão, Romain Saïss

Assists: 2 – Fabio Silva, 1 – Leander Dendoncker, Ki-Jana Hoever

Previous meetings with Wolverhampton Wanderers and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Wolves have met a total of 14 times in the Premier League. United have won a total of eight matches, drawing three with Wolves winning three times. United have scored 23 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. Wolves has scored ten goals and are yet to win a penalty against United. The Red Devils have kept a total of six clean sheets with Wolves keeping two. Despite so few matches being played in the Premier League, the discipline issues between the two clubs is high with United players being shown 19 yellow cards and one red card and Wolves players being show 20 yellow cards and one red card. This match will be a tricky one for United, as all matches against Wolves are. United won 2-1 in this fixture last season, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford. It is set to be another close encounter against a team that can be difficult.

In recent history, there have been a few players to have played for both United and Wolves. In the 1973/74 season, Jim McCalliog was sold to United for just £60,000, making 38 appearances and scoring seven goals for the club. Scott McGarvey was loaned to Wolves in the 1984/85 season with Darren Ferguson, the son of Sir Alex Ferguson, being sold to the club in he 1993/94 season. Paul Ince, who had previously played for United, signed for Wolves as a free agent in the 2002/03 season, the same season that Denis Irwin left United after making 529 appearances, scoring 33 goals in an almost 12 year stay at United. More recently, Darron Gibson was loaned to Wolves in the 2007/08 season with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson the last player to be loaned to the club during the 2016/17 season. There will be more history between the club, if you do a deeper dive.

Team News: Edinson Cavani close to full fitness ahead of the first international break of the season. Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, Scott McTominay and Marcs Rashford ruled out of the Molineux clash.

Dean Henderson (fatigue), Alex Telles (ankle), Scott McTominay (groin) and Marcus Rashford (shoulder) have been ruled out of the visit to the Molineux Stadium to face Wolves on Sunday. Phil Jones (knee) and Eric Bailly (match fitness) both have a 25% chance of featuring for United in this match with Edinson Cavani (match fitness) having a 75% chance of featuring for his club. This is an important match for United. Jadon Sancho has yet to make the first start for his new club with Raphael Varane yet to make his debut. The confirmation that Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the Theatre of Dreams will be a big boost ahead of this match, despite the player not yet being in the vicinity of his United teammates. There will be a lot of enthusiasm amongst the travelling reds and I am sure the ‘Viva Ronaldo’ chant will be heard throughout the match.

Hugo Bueno (hamstring), Pedro Neto (knee) and Jonny Otto (knee) have all been ruled out of the visit of United to the Molineux Stadium on Sunday afternoon. These are not the only problems for Bruno Lage as Yerson Mosquera (hamstring) has a 50% chance of being fit for the clash and Willy Boly (hamstring) has a 75% chance of being fit. It has not been a great start to the season for Wolves, who have been beaten by both Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, by the same 1-0 score lines in the opening two Premier League matches. However, a change of fortunes in the Carabao Cup second round on Tuesday evening saw Wolves beat Nottingham Forest 4-0, a match in which United academy midfielder James Garner made his second debut for the club on his second loan spell at the City Ground. Wolves have a well drilled team and can be a threat.

Predicted Starting XI: Greenwood, Pogba, Fernandes and Sancho to lead the attack against Wolves? Van de Beek and Fred in midfield?

Solskjaer will be excited about what this season cold hold for United with the pending return of Ronaldo. But first of all, the club will need to get through this match ahead of the first international break of the season. United have done well so far, not quite brilliant after that Southampton match but the Leeds United victory started the season in style. United will be seeking to get another three points in the bag and break the record for away Premier League matches which was matched last week at St Mary’s.This match could be different for United as Wolves are a tough team to break and with them losing back to back Premier League matches this season, they will be seeking their first won of the season which is why Solskjaer will need to get his team selection right. I don’t think this will be an easy win for United, but it should be a win.

Solskjaer will probably keep David De Gea in goal for this match as he has played in the past two matches. In defence, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw should keep their places with Raphael Varane making his United debut after his move from Real Madrid earlier this month. It should give a new dimension to this United team, when the Frenchman has settled into the squad. He might make a few mistakes, as some of the best players in defence have over the years. In midfield, I would like to see Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek in the centre of the midfield with the former doing the defensive work and he latter linking up the the attack. In the three behind the striker, Paul Pogba, who has five assists so far this season, Bruno Fernandes, who has three goals and Jadon Sancho should all start, with Mason Greenwood leading the attack.

Match Prediction: Manchester United should extend their unbeaten away record, beating Arsenal’s 27 match record which was matched last weekend.

This is a match that United should win on paper, but in practise, Wolves will be seeking to get their fourth victory over United in the Premier League. After two back to back defeats in the league this season, it is important that they start to find a way to wining matches under new manager Bruno Lage. Solskjaer though will be looking to inspire his side to victory, getting back to winning ways after the disappointment of last week’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, looking to make their own unbeaten away record in the Premier League after matching Arsenal’s 2002/03 record, which has taken so long to match, let alone beat. This is going to be an exciting season for United with the signings that have been made this season and there is a chance that there could be more business before Tuesday’s deadline.

This first international break of the season will be something that nobody wants so soon into the season but it will also mark the return of UEFA Champions League football which will commence after the international break, complicating the season as so far, United have been playing once a week, giving the players plenty of rest between matches, which will not be the case when the season starts properly. Solskjaer will have a bigger squad this season with the promise of youth being given chances, which could happen in the cup competitions which will give them an indication of the level they will need to rise to in order to make the first team properly at some stage in the future. Getting the needed result in that match is important before any of that happens though and United will be seeking to play in a similar way as they did against Leeds United a fortnight ago.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW