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Review & Ratings: United endure dire 0-0 draw with Wolves; no shots on target, no creativity, hunger, desire, or determination

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup at the Molineux. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lacked creativity, desire, hunger and determination during the game and clearly needs additions in the squad this month. The match will be replayed at Old Trafford at a date yet to be arranged to find the winner of this match for the fourth round.

United started the game well as did Wolves. There was little to write home about with few real chances on goal in the first half. United maybe should have had a penalty after Brandon Williams was taken out in the box but neither the referee or VAR gave anything – if it was Mohamed Salah, perhaps it might have been different. The first half ended 0-0 with United having slightly more possession but a lot more to do.

Solskjaer made three changes in the second half as United looked to have a successful shot on goal. Fred replaced Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford replaced Daniel James. Rashford had the best chance of the game for United seconds after setting foot on the pitch, hitting the crossbar. Around 12 minutes later, Diogo Dalot made his first appearance for the first team this season, replacing Tahith Chong.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian had little to do against Wolves in the FA Cup. There was a period in the game where it seemed he could not continue, but he soon recovered, making a few good saves in the game. Conceded late in the game but the goal came off the arm and was promptly disallowed.

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18 Ashley Young

The veteran winger-cum-fullback played well at times against Wolves. He was booked in the latter stages of the match and was perhaps lucky to not have been booked earlier in the game. United lacked massively, which should have given clues to the hierarchy of the club as we are in another transfer window.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede played well at times with Wolves not threatening as much as they could. He put in good block in late in the game to stop Wolves from scoring. He was also named the Man of the Match by BT Sport.

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5 Harry Maguire

The England defender did not look like he could complete the match in the firth half with Jones seemingly getting ready to come on during the break. However, the change never happened and Maguire plodded on through the match.

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33 Brandon Williams

The left-back should be first choice at the club. He gave Traore what for in his position, something Shaw would not have done against the winger. Could have won a penalty for United in the first half but nothing was given by the referee or VAR. Williams tried to get between everything when defending in his own final third. That was good to see.

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Andreas Pereira

With Fred rested, Pereira was tasked to run the midfield with Matic. There was little creativity from him or anyone else and United lacked inspiration to provide anything which could become a goal until Rashford was brought on.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The veteran midfielder held his own against Wolves. There was little creativity in the game and little to write home about. United kept a clean sheet and will take the game to Old Trafford.

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Tahith Chong

The Dutch winger did not have the best of games, but has not played for a good few weeks. He tried to get forward and create but United were not good enough in the advanced areas, having no shots on target during his appearance. Before he was replaced, Chong stole the ball, stopping a Wolves attack, which was a good action in the game from him.

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8 Juan Mata

The veteran Spanish midfielder got involved in the game, however, at the time of his departure in the 70th minute of the match, United did not have a shot on target. There was a lack of impetus, urgency or hunger to score a goal, let alone get one on target.

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21 Daniel James

The Welsh winger played well against Wolves although United's attack was lame, not getting a single shot on target throughout his appearance, which was not his fault.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The young forward should have had more of an impact in this game but United were poor throughout. Not a lot was created during the game and United did not have a single shot on target. Given creativity, Greenwood would be pouncing on those balls and aiming to score.

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Substitutes

17 Fred

Replaced Mata 70'. United needed something in midfield late in the game as there was little happening to get United the upper hand. Fred was involved from his introduction, partnering Matic.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced James 70'. Came on to help United get something from the game. Straight away he threatened on goal, hitting the crossbar. Rashford had another chance in the second half, however, it came to nothing.

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Diogo Dalot

Replaced Chong 82'. The young Portuguese defender played well and it was good to see him back after a long spell on the sidelines. He was unable to provide anything as United weathered the storm from Wolves.

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Goals: N/A

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Romero; Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Pereira, Matic; Chong (Dalot 82′), Mata (Fred 70′), James (Rashford 70′); Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Jones, Wan-Bissaka; Gomes

Bookings: Romain Saiss 57′, Max Kilman 72′, Joao Moutinho 90+4′; Ashley Young 86′

Confirmed Starting XI: Greenwood leads the line against Wolves; Chong and Rashford in support Gomes on the bench

Manchester United face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup at the Molineux this evening. Both teams will be seeking to bounce back from defeats in the Premier League on New Year’s Day. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to find a way of getting his team playing in a way whereby they will become a threat to the opposition. Against Arsenal, the team were terrible and could not create much.

The January transfer window is open and it is clear that the team is lacking something. I fully back the manager in that he does not want to just bring in players for the sake of doing so as that may not be the best move at this stage of the rebuild – United need to sign the right type of players, ones with hunger, determination that want to see the club succeed again. Whether that happens this month remains to be seen.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams;

Pereira, Matic;

Chong, Mata, James;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Grant; Jones, Dalot, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Gomes; Rashford

Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Ruddy;

Dendoncker, Coady, KIlman;

Doherty, Saiss, Neves, Vinagre;

Traore, Ashley-Seal, Neto

Substitutes:

Patricio, Bennett, Jonny, Otasowie, Buur, Moutinho, Jimenez

United and Wolves have played a total of 102 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 48 times, drawn 18 times and lost 36 times. The last defeat to Wolves came in the Premier League back in April 2019, a 2-1 defeat at the Molineux with Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the goals to win Scott McTominay scoring the opening goal, Diogo Jota equalising minutes later and a late own goal scored by Chris Smalling.

Since Wolves were promoted to the Premier League ahead of the 2018/19 season, United have not beaten them in four matches. The first match was played at Old Trafford and resulted in a 1-1 draw. United drew Wolves in the FA Cup that season, at the Molineux and lost 2-0, also losing at the Molineux in the league 2-1. In the last game, earlier this season, it was another 1-1 draw with Anthony Martial opening the scoring and Rúben Neves finding the equaliser. United need to beat Wolves so they can move on.

How Manchester United could look against Wolves; Greenwood leading the line, Fosu-Mensah in midfield, Bailly in defence?

Manchester United will face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening at the Molineux. It is not happy hunting ground for United who are yet to beat Wolves at home or away since they were promoted to the Premier League ahead of last season. United and Wolves will be looking to come back from defeats on New Year’s Day with United falling to a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal with Wolves losing 2-1 against Watford.

United will be without both Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba for a prolonged period of time meaning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is down to barebones, especially in midfield with him needing to look into bringing additional players into the club during the January transfer window. United will be seeking to get one over Wolves as they have not done so in the four meetings already since their return to the Premier League. Here is my starting XI prediction for this match.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero has been a decent stand in for David De Gea this season and has been tasked to play in cup matches. However, this coming wee will see United playing in the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup and perhaps Romero may not play in both matches, however, that remains to be seen. The Argentinian has performed to the best of his abilities each time he has played this season. In his six appearances, 540 minutes of football this season, he has kept a total of five clean sheets showing his abilities as a goalkeeper, something United will be proud of.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

The defence will need to be at their best when they face Wolves as they are a very attacking team, despite being in a period of indifferent form, based on their last six results – three wins and three losses. Victor Lindelof has declined, in my opinion, of late so the return of Eric Bailly should be something that is thought about. Partnering him with Harry Maguire with the captain seeking to find form after some poor performances in the past month. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should play in the right-back position with Brandon Williams playing at left-back as I just do not see anything positive in Luke Shaw at this moment in time. Williams was the Man of the Match against Burnley but not used against Arsenal, even when Shaw was being battered on the left. It was easy to see.

Midfield: Fred, Tim Fosu-Mensah

There is not much depth in the midfield at United, this was something that could have been seen in the summer when Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera were not replaced. United have just Fred and Nemanja Matic as experienced midfielders and Matic is not fast enough to play in big matches also with talk that he wants to leave the club. Fred should keep his place as his progress has been seen over the past feel months and he deserves to be rewarded with a place in the team. Partnering him though will be problematic with both Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba on the sidelines through injury for two months and one month respectively. Tim Fosu-Mensah has been training over recent weeks in a bid to return from a knee injury. Playing at right-back will not be an option and in defence, it’s unlikely that he will be chosen so in defensive midfield, he could be a player that helps the club going forward.

Attacking Midfielders: Daniel James, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford

United need to get more from the attack. Creativity has been poor this season, despite many goals being scored. Against Arsenal, there was nothing of not happening and the forwards could not make anything work. If those higher up in the club cannot see that players are not good enough, I don’t know what else to say. Daniel James should keep his place in the team as should Marcus Rashford. Both players have aided the team this season. Andreas Pereira should play in the number ten position in this formation as he offered more than Jesse Lingard in a few minutes compared to what Lingard did in the best part of an hour against Arsenal. I don’t see Pereira as a long-term solution but I see less in Lingard based on the past year as he just occupies a place in the team, doing nothing of note the majority of the time.

Striker: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood needs to be given the chance to lead the line for United. Granted, Anthony Martial has not been provided with the chances because of the players behind him but he is not completely faultless as at times he has not been in the position to benefit from chances that have been created. A striker will need to play that forward role all of the time, not sitting outside of the box to the left or the right, like Martial has. The Frenchman will need a rest too and having a good rotation forward in Greenwood, it could be a great thing for United but will the manager learn to entrust the youth or will he only use them either when he has to or when he feels comfortable? Time will tell.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young; Juan Mata, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic; Anthony Martial

United will need to have something on the bench to bring on if they struggle in the game or need something extra to ensure they get the result they want – staying in the FA Cup this season. I would expect to see David De Gea rested with Lee Grant on the bench. Victor Lindelof and Ashley Young could provide defensive cover, if needed. Juan Mata, Angel Gomes and Nemanja Matic could provide midfield reinforcement and Anthony Martial on the bench should they need extra firepower in the attack to win the game or find a way of coming back from a deficit. This will be a tough game for United and one they really should be winning.

Preview: Manchester United need to respond to Arsenal defeat by throwing Wolves to the wolves, but can they achieve it?

Wolverhampton Wanderers -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton

Saturday 4 January 2020, KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Lee Betts; Constantine Hatzidakis Fourth Official: Chris Kavanagh

VAR: Stephen Tanner VAR Assistant: Michael Oliver

Manchester United face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup at the Molineux on Saturday evening. Both teams will be seeking to bounce back from defeats in the Premier League on New Year’s Day. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to find a way of getting his team playing in a way whereby they will become a threat to the opposition. Against Arsenal, the team were terrible and could not create much.

The January transfer window is open and it is clear that the team is lacking something. I fully back the manager in that he does not want to just bring in players for the sake of doing so as that may not be the best move at this stage of the rebuild – United need to sign the right type of players, ones with hunger, determination that want to see the club succeed again. Whether that happens this month remains to be seen.

Form: Both United and Wolves need to bounce back from defeats on New Year’s Day and in the last six matches, United have a better record winning three, drawing once and losing twice with Wolves winning three and losing three.

Manchester United: LWWLWD

Arsenal 2-0 L, Burnley 2-0 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Watford 2-0 L, Colchester United 3-0 W, Everton 1-1 D

Wolverhampton Wanderers: LLWWLW

Watford 2-1 L, Liverpool 1-0 L, Manchester City 3-2 W, Norwich City 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 L, Besiktas 4-0 W

Top Scorers: Marcus Rashford searching to add to his 16 goals in all competitions this season. Raúl Jiménez has five goals fewer than Rashford this season.

Manchester United Goals: 16 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Anthony Martial, 8 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United seemed to have turned another corner after beating both Newcastle United and Burnley during the Festive period after a 2-0 defeat to Watford before Christmas, however, a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal puts the team into the same position they were in before Christmas, seeking to come back from a poor defeat. If the team are going to win matches, the aim is to keep winning and progress, not stop/start development.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Goals: 11 – Raúl Jiménez, 6 – Diogo Jota, 5 – Adama Traoré, 4 – Matt Doherty, 3 – Patrick Cutrone, Romain Saïss, 2 – Rúben Neves, Leander Dendoncker, 1 – Willy Boly, Jonny, Bruno Jordao, João Moutinho, Pedro Neto

Wolves have been the bogey team for United since their return to the Premier League. In the four matches played between the two clubs, United are winless. This season seems to have taken its toll on Wolves and their form is not as good as it once was. In the past six matches, Wolves have won three and lost three – with the last two matches being defeats. United will be seeking to bounce back but so will Wolves.

Team News: Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba out for the match against Wolves. Youth should be given a chance in the FA Cup.

United have some problems ahead of this match. Scott McTominay looks set to be out for the next few months and despite Solskjaer saying that he thought Paul Pogba would travel for the Arsenal game ahead of it, it turned out the player was injured again and would be out for a month, seemingly requiring surgery for him to recover. It seems a shame that this has happened but it is all part of the game.

United lacked everything against Arsenal and coming against a team like Wolves is daunting considering the record against them of late. Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah, and Axel Tuanzebe could all be involved in the game against Wolves in the FA Cup otherwise the same team that faced United, perhaps aided by some talented youth, could be back on the pitch – which might not end with a good result.

Wolves could be without both Morgan Gibbs-White and Willy Boly for this game and considering they have a near enough fully fit squad for this game, not to mention aiming to come back from some poor form, which includes the 2-1 defeat to Watford on New Year’s Day, it could result in more problems for United to the start of the year, which would say a lot about this squad, which does not seem good enough to represent United.

Predicted Starting XI: Greenwood, Romero, Bailly, Pereira and Fosu-Mensah start against Wolves in the FA Cup?

United might not make many changes from the team that were beaten by Arsenal on New Year’s Day. Sergio Romero will probably come in for David De Gea as he has played in cup matches, although with Manchester City on the horizon, could he play back to back matches or will De Gea face City? I’d like to see Eric Bailly back, if fit enough with Tim Fosu-Mensah given the chance in midfield. Mason Greenwood should lead the line.

Match Prediction: United need to beat Wolves as in the past four matches wince they were promoted to the Premier League, United are winless – losing twice and drawing twice.

United and Wolves have played a total of 102 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 48 times, drawn 18 times and lost 36 times. The last defeat to Wolves came in the Premier League back in April 2019, a 2-1 defeat at the Molineux with Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the goals to win Scott McTominay scoring the opening goal, Diogo Jota equalising minutes later and a late own goal scored by Chris Smalling.

Since Wolves were promoted to the Premier League ahead of the 2018/19 season, United have not beaten them in four matches. The first match was played at Old Trafford and resulted in a 1-1 draw. United drew Wolves in the FA Cup that season, at the Molineux and lost 2-0, also losing at the Molineux in the league 2-1. In the last game, earlier this season, it was another 1-1 draw with Anthony Martial opening the scoring and Rúben Neves finding the equaliser. United need to beat Wolves so they can move on.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Manchester United

Ratings: Lacklustre Manchester United mauled by Wolves at the Molineux, again!

Manchester United lost 2-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set his team a 15 point target in the remaining seven matches of the season, this defeat left them treading water with 18 points left to grab this season.

Scott McTominay scored the opening goal for United after a bright start to the game. Both Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard combined nicely on the left, drawing the Wolves defence out before the ball was played to Fred. The Brazilian offloaded the ball to the Academy graduate who then fizzed his shot past Rui Patricio from 25-yards.

The lead in the match did not last long. David De Gea played the ball from the back to Fred, who got caught on the ball then lost possession. Wolves played two passes before Diogo Jota, assisted by Raúl Jiménez, equalised for the home side. Wolves were then pressuring United at every opportunity with the United side that started the game now looking poor.

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Luke Shaw was booked late in the first half, his tenth of the season meaning he missed the Premier League matches against West Ham United and Everton. Diogo Dalot was then booked four minutes later. In the second half, over a period of five minutes, Ashley Young was booked twice for challenges on Jota and was sent off, United down to ten men.

United conceded a second goal in the 77th minute of the game with Leander Dendoncker claiming the goal but it was poked into the net by Smalling. United had a lot to do to claim something from this game. Solskjaer made three changes with Phil Jones, Anthony Martial and Andreas Pereira replacing Fred, Romelu Lukaku and Dalot.M

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

United have not kept a clean sheet in their last six matches before this one, so it was certain that would continue. The Spaniard conceded to Jota, who was having a great season, giving United more to work for. Perhaps playing the ball out from the back to Fred was not the right thing to do against this progressive side?

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18 Ashley Young

Poor performance from an experienced player. Booked in the 52nd minute for a challenge on Jota then five minutes later, send off for a second on the same player. United now have a mountain to climb.

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Chris Smalling

United started well and got an early goal but from there it was turned upside down. Smalling's defending was shocking at times. He scored Wolves' second goal and nearly gifted them another in the last minute of normal time. Maybe his new contract should have waited until the end of the season. Who would want him now?

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2 Victor Lindelof

I thought Lindelof was the better of the two central defenders against Wolves, but there was a lot to improve on. He might have been rusty, not playing for more than three weeks.

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23 Luke Shaw

After putting in a MOTM match performance in Saturday, Shaw did not play all that well against Wolves. He got his tenth booking of the season, meaning he will miss the next two Premier League matches against West Ham United and Everton.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian assisted for McTominay for United to open the scoring but that was not to last long as Fred was caught in possession 12 minutes later. Wolves made two passes when they gained possession and equalised. Fred should have had more control of the ball and the confidence to get rid of it, rather than get caught in possession. Fred had a shot on goal at the start of the second half, however, it flashed over the crossbar. Replaced by Jones in the 65th minute.

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39 Scott McTominay

The Academy graduate opened up the scoring for United with his first competitive goal for the club, assisted by Fred. I wonder if those still criticising him were celebrating?

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6 Paul Pogba

Dawdled for most of the game. Had many wondering if he was playing at times. Lacked urgency, desire, fight and everything else needed to play for Manchester United. His passing was not the best, especially the short ones. Maybe his head is in Madrid. Could he soon be there too?

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Diogo Dalot

Started in a more advanced role, seemingly looking like United were turning a fullback into a winger. It did not work for United. Dalot was replaced by Pereira in the 84th minute.

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Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian was fit to start in the absence of Marcus Rashford. He missed a perfect opportunity to score in the game, seeing his angled shot just drift wide of the far post. Lukaku needs to up his game if United are to finish strongly this season. His performance was not the best and he was replaced by Anthony Martial in the 73rd minute of the match.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Got involved in the game but after McTominay scored the opener, Wolves took charge of the game. Lingard has some moments to look back on but nothing that changed the result. United have some soul searching to do ahead of the Barcelona match.

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Substitutes

4 Phil Jones

Replaced Fred 65'. Brought on to shore up the defence after Wolves took charge of the game at 1-1. The defeat was not avoided.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Lukaku 73'. Had a chance to get something from the game but could not make it count for United. A bad day at the office? Maybe but this is becoming worrying.

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Andreas Pereira

Replaced Dalot 84'. Came on late to add something to this side that was lacking a lot. Never got much involvement in trying to change the result.

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Goals: Diogo Jota 25′, Chris Smalling o/g 77′; Scott McTominay 13′

Assists: Raúl Jiménez 25′; Fred 13′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred (Jones 65′), McTominay, Pogba; Dalot (Pereira 84′), Lukaku (Martial 73′), Lingard

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Jones, Rojo; Mata, Matic

Bookings: Jonny 90+4′; Luke Shaw 38′, Diogo Dalot 42′, Ashley Young 52′, s/o 57′

Confirmed Starting XI: Dalot, Lingard and Lukaku lead the attack against Wolves; Rashford misses out through injury

Manchester United will be back in action in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, this time travelling back to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side returned to winning ways against Watford at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon, after back to back defeats, a confidence booster for United.

United have done well under Solskjaer since December, losing just three matches out of the 20 which have been played so far. The Norwegian has earned more Premier League points that Jose Mourinho did in the first half of the season, which says something. United still have something to play for this season; top four and a strong UEFA Champions League finish.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay, Pogba;

Dalot, Lukaku, Lingard

Substitutes:

Romero; Jones, Rojo; Mata, Pereira, Matic; Martial

United and Wolves have played 99 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 15 October 1892, a 10-1 Newton Heath victory in the old Division One. United has won 48 matches, drawn 17 matches and lost 35 matches. United will need to ensure they leave the Molineux with a win on Tuesday.

United got themselves back on track after a 2-1 victory over Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday. After back to back defeats, it was a welcome feeling. United found themselves back inside the top four, however, with Arsenal winning on Monday evening, United was back in fifth again before the clash with Wolves even kicked off.

Wolves are still that unpredictable team, being that they have lost twice, drawn twice and won twice in their last six matches. They will be boosted by the defeat over United a few weeks back which secured them an Emirates FA Cup semi-final place at Wembley this weekend. However, Wolves might rest players ahead of that Wembley match.

How Manchester United could look against Wolves; 4-3-1-2 – Rashford and Lukaku leading, Lingard supporting the attack

Manchester United will be back in action in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, this time travelling back to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side returned to winning ways against Watford at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon, after back to back defeats, a confidence booster for United.

United have done well under Solskjaer since December, losing just three matches out of the 20 which have been played so far. The Norwegian has earned more Premier League points that Jose Mourinho did in the first half of the season, which says something. United still have something to play for this season; top four and a strong UEFA Champions League finish.

United and Wolves have played 99 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 15 October 1892, a 10-1 Newton Heath victory in the old Division One. United has won 48 matches, drawn 17 matches and lost 35 matches. United will need to ensure they leave the Molineux with a win on Tuesday.

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea is subject to a lot of speculation of a transfer either this summer or on a free at the end of his contract, also that he could sign a new contract at the club, so the media are just covering all the bases, so you know, they could say they were right. De Gea played well this weekend and should face Wolves, where a clean sheet could come.

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Defence: Diogo Dalot, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw

United need to stop leaking goals as they have not kept a clean sheet in their last six matches. Diogo Dalot should be ahead fo Ashley Young due to the latter looking tired on Saturday. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones should keep their places with Victor Lindelof out of action, although not due to injury. Luke Shaw, the MOTM against Watford, should start too.

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Midfield Three: Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

The midfield needs to have some flair, pace and ability both on and off the ball at this present time. Andreas Pereira should replace Ander Herrera, which might take some pressure off Nemanja Matic who will be trusted by Solskjaer in this match. Paul Pogba will need to put in a shift against Wolves, playing a simple game, not showboating.

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Forward Three: Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku

Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku could be trusted to lead the line against Wolves with Anthony Martial likely to be on the sidelines, although he could travel and sit on the bench. Instead of playing a wide forward three, Jesse Lingard could play in the number ten role behind the forwards, which could add depth in the attack.

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Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young; Juan Mata, Fred; Anthony Martial

Having strength on the bench is important as Solskjaer will need to utilise his substitutes more than ever at this stage of the season. I think Martial could make the bench but may not be used. We could also see the likes f Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood or even Angel Gomes.

Preview: Manchester United need to savage the Wolves at the Molineux to keep top four hopes alive

Wolverhampton Wanderers -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Molineux, Wolverhampton

Tuesday 2 April 2019; KO 19:45 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean

Manchester United will be back in action in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, this time travelling back to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side returned to winning ways against Watford at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon, after back to back defeats, a confidence booster for United.

United have done well under Solskjaer since December, losing just three matches out of the 20 which have been played so far. The Norwegian has earned more Premier League points that Jose Mourinho did in the first half of the season, which says something. United still have something to play for this season; top four and a strong UEFA Champions League finish.

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Form: Wolves still unpredictable after two wins, two draws and two defeats in the last six matches; United in much better form

Manchester United: WLLWWW

Watford 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Arsenal 2-0 L, Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 W, Southampton 3-2 W, Crystal Palace 3-1 W

United got themselves back on track after a 2-1 victory over Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday. After back to back defeats, it was a welcome feeling. United found themselves back inside the top four, however, with Arsenal still to play on Monday evening, they could be fifth again before the clash with Wolves even kicks off.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: LWDWLD

Burnley 2-0 L, Manchester United 2-1 W, Chelsea 1-1 D, Cardiff City 2-0 W, Huddersfield Town 1-0 L, Bournemouth 1-1 D

Wolves are still that unpredictable team, being that they have lost twice, drawn twice and won twice in their last six matches. They will be boosted by the defeat over United a few weeks back which secured them an Emirates FA Cup semi-final place at Wembley this weekend. However, Wolves might rest players ahead of that Wembley match.

Top Scorers: United has four players who have scored more than 10 goals each this season; Wolves have one…

Manchester United: 15 – Romelu Lukaku, 14 – Paul Pogba, 13 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Anthony Martial, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

Wolverhampton Wanderers: 15 – Raúl Jiménez, 7 – Diogo Jota, 6 – Matt Doherty, 5 – Ivan Cavaleiro, 4 – Rúben Neves, 3 – Willy Boly, 2 – Romain Saïss, Hélder Costa, 1 – Ryan Bennett, Léo Bonatini, Jonny, Leander Dendoncker, João Moutinho, Adama Traoré

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Team News: Injuries coming to an end for United; Wolves have none to contend with at all but this is a big week for them

United has just four players on the sidelines through injury. Alexis Sanchez (MCL), Antonio Valencia (calf), Matteo Darmian, and Anthony Martial (both knock). Romelu Lukaku was back on the bench this weekend and could be fit to face Wolves whilst Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo both played (Rojo from the bench) against Watford.

Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo has no injuries to contend with ahead of the second visit in a month for United. The Portuguese manager will be boosted by this as he looks to manage his team in what will be an important week for Wolves. Sunday’s trip to Wembley, where they will face Watford, will need all of his best players fit and raring to go.

Predicted Starting XI: 4-3-1-2 formation to get the best of United’s attacking prowess in must-win match at the Molineux?

Solskjaer will have a near fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of the trip to Wolves on Tuesday. Four players are on the sidelines, but two of those would play a bit-part role anyway. Anthony Martial could be the biggest loss if he was not fit enough to travel to Wolverhampton. However, Solskjaer has plenty of quality in his team, they just need to show it.

Match Prediction: United to make this 100th meeting between the two clubs to keep their chances of a top four finish on their side

United and Wolves have played 99 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 15 October 1892, a 10-1 Newton Heath victory in the old Division One. United has won 48 matches, drawn 17 matches and lost 35 matches. United will need to ensure they leave the Molineux with a win on Tuesday.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3 Manchester United

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