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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

Ratings: Elanga and Mata score to seal United victory over Wolves; Tuanzebe, Telles, Van de Beek and Elanga in running for MOTM

Manchester United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 at the Molineux on the final day of the Premier League season. Their second-placed finish was already guaranteed so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made ten changes to his team. Anthony Elanga scored his first senior goal in the 13th minute of the match, assisted by Daniel James. Wolves got one back six minutes before the break with Nélson Semedo, assisted by Fábio Silva. However, in added time at the end of the half, in added time, United won a penalty which was scored by Juan Mata. Hannibal Mejbri and Will Fish made their league debuts with Shola Shoretire also appearing.

United started well against Wolves but it was the home club who got the first chance in the match with Adama Traore having a shot on goal in the second minute, which was off target. Anthony Elanga had a few good chances in the early stages of the match but his luck was not there was he tried to score his first senior goal for the club. However, that came in the 13th minute of the match after Daniel James played the cross into the box and Elanga opened the scoring for his club with a superb finish. Thats what Solskjaer will be happy to see at this stage of the season, another youth player blooded into the squad and scoring his first goal.

In the 17th minute of the match Eric Bailly had a chance with a header in the box after the ball was played in by Alex Telles but the Ivorian missed the target with his header. Fabio Silva had a chance for Wolves minutes later after the ball was played in by Traore, however his effort was wide of the target too. Wolves then seemed to be getting comfortable attacking United, camping on the edge of the box and sending balls into the box to find an equaliser, but their final ball quality was lacking to do some real damage to United. Solskjaer’s side seemed comfortable defensively at this time, which was a good sign – but no need for complacency though.

Wolves were forced into a substitution in the 27th minute with Traore unable to continue after seemingly diving in the box and suffering from something as a result of that. Willian José was the player brought on to replace him, which took some attacking threat off the pitch at that time. It was a pretty even match from there with chances being crested by both teams, but neither finding a goalscoring opportunity. However, in the 39th minute of the match, Nelson Semedo found the equaliser after United’s defence was split with Dean Henderson being beaten from a slight deflection off Bailly. United would now need to dig deeper to get the win.

United had a good chance to take the lead again minutes after Wolves’ equaliser with Brandon Williams the player furthest forward and firing to the bottom right corner, which was saved by Rui Patricio. Telles then had a shot on goal after being played in by Elanga, but his effort was high and wide of the target. United then spend some time on the edge of the Wolves area, trying to force themselves into the box with the ball to find a second goal. In added time at the end of the first half, there was penalty shout for United after Donny van de Beek was fouled in the box. Mike Dean did not give it but VAR intervened. The penalty was given.

Juan Mata took the penalty, restoring United’s lead in the fourth minute of added time in the first half. There was not much left to play ahead of the break, which once against sees Wolves behind. The supporters in the stadium were not happy with the penalty decision, but they will have to live with that. United were back in front with 45 minute of the season left to play before United’s biggest match of the season – the UEFA Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdańsk. Solskjaer will have been happy that his gamble, resting the majority of his first-choice XI, has, at least so far, paid off with United 2-1 up at the break.

There were no changes for either side at the start of the second half of the match. There were chances for both teams in the opening stages of the second half with the best chance coming in the 58th minute after Amad Diallo played the ball into Daniel James, who tried to dink the goalkeeper from close range but ended up putting his shot off target, which could have seen United go 3-1 up inn the match. Before that chance, Dean Henderson was booked for time wasting, which is a warning sign for him and United. Wolves made their second substitution on the hour mark with Leander Dendoncker being replaced by Morgan Gibbs-White.

Solskjaer made double substitution in the 82nd minute of the match with Hannibal Mejbri replacing Mata, making his Premier League debut and Shola Shoretire replaced Amad Diallo. It was a good feeling for the two youth players, one of which (Shoretire) came through the academy with Hannibal signing for the club during the summer of 2019. He did say he wanted to play for the first team within two years and he seems to have achieved that. It will be a cameo for both players. Hannibal was perhaps the player that showed his gratitude for the appearance against Wolves, looking up for the challenge on his first team debut.

Five minutes were added on at the end of the second half with Wolves pushing for another equaliser but so far, Axel Tuanzebe doing everything he could to stop that from happening. He really is a player that should be afforded more time on the pitch for United. He has everything in his locker to achieve something at this club and could well be a player that offers more than Eric Bailly and Phil Jones in the future for United. Solskjaer made a final substitution in the fifth minute of added time with Will Fish replacing Daniel James. He did not have much time on the pitch but will be happy with his Premier League debut this season.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Conceded in the 39th minute with Semedo finding the equaliser. Made a few good saves to deny Wolves. Booked in the second half. He put the effort into his performance and is deserving of his place in this squad. He's the future, not matter what those who lack patience say.

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33 Brandon Williams

Having not player frequently this season, this was a good performance from the academy graduate. He's not first choice and should perhaps have a season out on loan. Did what he needed to do today and could have had a goal in the first half.

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3 Eric Bailly

Now the best central defender on this day. The Wolves goal had a slight deflection off him. Tuanzebe was the player that stood up and was counted in this match. United can do much better than Bailly but he is a handy squad player, if he stays at the club.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Was the better performer for me against Wolves. He seems to be aiming to prove himself for the Europa League final should Maguire not make it and deservedly so. United should offer Tuanzebe a new long-term contract and give hims a guarantee of minutes on the pitch as if they lose him, they will be losing a player who has the belief, talent and determination to succeed at the club.

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27 Alex Telles

Did what was expected from him, although Shaw is still ahead of him at this time. It was a positive performance for him. Will be looking forward to Wednesday now.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played a solid game for United. Dependable, experienced and gave his all on the pitch.

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34 Donny van de Beek

ad a largely positive performance at times. Won the penalty for United ahead of the break.

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16 Amad Diallo

Seemed to be getting up to speed in the Premier League. Played some good passes from the right-wing, including a good through-ball for James, who tried to chip the keeper which saw his effort going wide of the target. Came off in the 82nd minute with Shoretire replacing him.

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8 Juan Mata

Put United ahead before the break form the penalty spot. It could well be his last appearance for United and it was good that he could sign off with another goal. He's been a great player for United in his seven years at the club. Came off in the 82nd minute with Hannibal replacing him.

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Ratings: Elanga and Mata score to seal United victory over Wolves; Tuanzebe, Telles, Van de Beek and Elanga in running for MOTM

Got the assist for Elanga's goal, which was a good ball to play into the box for the academy graduate. Had the chance to put United further ahead but tried to chip the keeper, resulting in his shot way off target. His final ball needs to improve. Fish replaced him in the fifth minute of added time.

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36 Anthony Elanga

Scored his first senior goal in the 13th minute of the match, having two credible chances prior to that. It was a good strike from the academy graduate and was great to see. Played well for the remainder of the match.

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Substitutes

46 Hannibal Mejbri

Replaced Mata 82'. Looked up for the challenge and picked up the ball in some good positions. Great to see another youth player blooded into this team.

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47 Shola Shoretire

Replaced Amad 82'. Had some involvement against Wolves, which helped peg the home side back. Did what was expected of him.

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48 Will Fish

Replaced James 90+5'. Came on at the death. It was nothing more than a cameo but yet another player ingrained into the DNA of the club.

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Goals: Nélson Semedo 39′; Anthony Elanga 13’, Juan Mata 45+4′ penalty

Assists: Fábio Silva 39′; Daniel James 13’

Manchester United: Henderson; Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles; Matic, Van de Beek, Amad (Shoretire 82′), Mata (Hannibal 82′), James (Fish 90+5′); Elanga

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka; McTominay; Rashford, Greenwood

Bookings: Rayan Ait-Nouri 41′, Leander Dendoncker 41′, Moron Gibbs-White 90+6′; Dean Henderson 57′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Amad, Mata, James and Elanga lead the line against Wolves; Hannibal, Fish and Shoretire on the bench

Manchester United face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux in the final Premier League match of the season this afternoon. United have already confirmed their second-placed finish in the league after their 1-1 draw with Fulham on Tuesday evening but only confirmed their place after Chelsea beat Leicester City later that evening. As it currently stands, Leicester have dropped out of the UEFA Champions League places with Liverpool breaking into the top four, having a better goal difference – it will be a tense final match of the season to see which team takes fourth place. Wolves have nothing to play for in this match but will want a home win.

United face Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday, so there will be many players rested for this match and it is possible that the youth at the club and those coming back from injury get some minutes under their belts against Wolves with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer probably set on his XI for the final. As there is nothing to play for in this match, it would be the best way to go as another injury would severely hamper United’s chances of lifting the trophy in Gdansk. It has been a long tough season and considering where United started, there is an immense amount of pride in where they will finish – not matter what the haters say.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles;

Matic, Van de Beek, Mata;

Amad, Mata, James;

Elanga

Substitutes:

Grant; Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, Fish; McTominay, Hannibal, Shoretire; Rashford, Greenwood

Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Patricio;

Boly, Coady, Saiss;

Dendoncker;

Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri;

Traore, Silva

Substitutes:

Ruddy, Söndergaard; Hoever, Marçal, Kilman; Gibbs-White, Vitinha; José

United and Wolves have met 13 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing three times with Wolves winning three times. United have scored 21 goals against Wolves, winning two penalties and scoring just one of them. Wolves have scored nine goals against United, not yet winning a penalty against them. United have kept six clean sheets with Wolves heaping two. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown 18 yellow cards with one red card whilst Wolves players have been shown 16 yellow cards and one red card. Both teams will be seeking to win this match.

Earlier in the season, United beat Wolves 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League with Marcus Rashford scoring the only goal of the match three minutes into added time, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. The last match between the two clubs at the Molineux was at the start of the 2019/20 season with the result a 1-1 draw. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 27th minute of the match, assisted by Rashford. Rúben Neves got an equaliser in the 55th minute of the match, assisted by João Moutinho. In the last five matches, United are undefeated against Wolves, but prior to that, had lost twice in a row in the league and the FA Cup.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Elanga, Amad, Hannibal, Shoretire and Galbraith to start against Wolves? Bigger eyes on Villarreal?

Manchester United face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday afternoon. United have already confirmed their second-placed finish in the league after their 1-1 draw with Fulham on Tuesday evening but only confirmed their place after Chelsea beat Leicester City later that evening. As it currently stands, Leicester have dropped out of the UEFA Champions League places with Liverpool breaking into the top four, having a better goal difference – it will be a tense final match of the season to see which team takes fourth place. Wolves have nothing to play for in this match but will want a home win.

United face Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday, so there will be many players rested for this match and it is possible that the youth at the club and those coming back from injury get some minutes under their belts against Wolves with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer probably set on his XI for the final. As there is nothing to play for in this match, it would be the best way to go as another injury would severely hamper United’s chances of lifting the trophy in Gdansk. It has been a long tough season and considering where United started, there is an immense amount of pride in where they will finish – not matter what the haters say.

How United have faired against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.

United and Wolves have met 13 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing three times with Wolves winning three times. United have scored 21 goals against Wolves, winning two penalties and scoring just one of them. Wolves have scored nine goals against United, not yet winning a penalty against them. United have kept six clean sheets with Wolves heaping two. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown 18 yellow cards with one red card whilst Wolves players have been shown 16 yellow cards and one red card. Both teams will be seeking to win this match.

Earlier in the season, United beat Wolves 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League with Marcus Rashford scoring the only goal of the match three minutes into added time, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. The last match between the two clubs at the Molineux was at the start of the 2019/20 season with the result a 1-1 draw. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 27th minute of the match, assisted by Rashford. Rúben Neves got an equaliser in the 55th minute of the match, assisted by João Moutinho. In the last five matches, United are undefeated against Wolves, but prior to that, had lost twice in a row in the league and the FA Cup.

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

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson has had a largely positive season, despite that 4-2 defeat to Liverpool last week. He did not feature against Fulham on Tuesday so will be in line to start this match with David De Gea likely to start in the UEFA Europa League final against Villarreal on Wednesday. Henderson has made a positive start at United, making 25 appearances for the club, keeping 13 clean sheets and conceding 21 goals in all competitions. It is not the best but for a player that made his Premier League debut during the 2019/20 season, he is not expected to be as good as the likes of Peter Schmeichel or Edin van der Sar at this time, at least by the supporters of the club who know what to expect and do not rely on computer games to level expectation.

Defenders: Brandon Williams, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Alex Telles

The defence has suffered a big blow this season with the recent injury to Harry Maguire. United have conceded seven goals in the last three matches without the captain on the pitch. He’s likely to miss the UEFA Europa League final too, if you believe what Solskjaer says. There could be a game being played here – hopefully. Against Wolves, Brandon Williams and Alex Telles could feature in the fullback positions with no need to further tire Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw. Eric Bailly could play as the right-sided central defender with Axel Tuanzebe on the right – although he could be the player that steps in for Maguire if he is ruled out of the final on Wednesday, which is yet to be confirmed. It is not ideal but there is a more important match on the horizon.

Midfield: Ethan Galbraith, Donny van de Beek

The midfield would be better if the main players in the first team were rested. Scott McTominay and Fred normally feature here with Paul Pogba also featuring at times, when he has not featured on the left-wing. Against Wolves, keeping these players rested is important. Therefore, Ethan Galbraith should be starting for the club as he really is a talented midfielder and could show his manager what he is capable of ahead of pre-season and the new season, which I am sure many of these players will have involvement, especially pre-season because of the Euro’s this summer. Donny van de Beek could partner him in the midfield, adding some experience but also a player on the fringes of the first team. It will probably do for United.

Attacking Midfield: Amad Diallo, Hannibal Mejbri, Daniel James

Solskjaer should rest the liked of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford for this match as they will be better off being fully fit for the clash with Villarreal on Wednesday in Gdansk. Amad Diallo should be starting on the right-wing as he could use this match to show him the level that he would need to compete at next season, to get his place in the first team cemented – which will be tough. Hannibal Mejbri could all feature in the number ten position ahead of Fernandes. The Frenchman scored five goals and 10 assists at U23 level this season but he perhaps needs to control his anger at times. Daniel James should be back from injury and could start on the left-wing, giving this youthful side some experience in attack.

Forwards: Anthony Elanga

Anthony Elanga played well against Leicester City last week and he could be in line to start for United once again this season. It would be good to see more of him ahead of next season, when it is suggested that he will be a first team player, which shows Solskjaer has his eyes on him and is seeking a way to bolster his squad for the long, hard season they will feature in. At U23 level this season, Elanga scored 11 goals and four assists throughout the season, finishing as the top scorer for United at that level. It seems to be time for him to get more advanced football and that could be a good thing for him, especially with it likely to get more difficult for players at United after the summer transfer window.

Substitutes: Nathan Bishop; Will Fish, Alvaro Fernandez; Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Shola Shoretire, Zidane Iqbal; Mason Greenwood, Charlie McNeill

The final match of the season is not really a competitive one for United as their fate this season has already been sealed – a second-placed finish and qualification for the UEFA Champions League next season. The UEFA Europa League final is the match that the players will have their eyes on. With that in mind, Solskjaer can give many youth players a chance to feature at this level. Nathan Bishop could be the replacement goalkeeper. In defence, Will Fish and Alvaro Fernandez could be used. In midfield, Juan Mata. Nemanja Matic, Shola Shoretire and Zidane Iqbal could be in contention. The could leave both Mason Greenwood and Charlie McNeill on the bench in an attacking sense. Experimental but with experience in places.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to give youth a chance against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday?

Wolverhampton Wanderers -v- Manchester United

Premier League

The Molineux, Wolverhampton

Sunday 23 May 2021, KO 16:00 BST

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Ian Hussin, Harry Lennard

Fourth Official: John Brooks

VAR: Andy Madley Assistant VAR: Darren Cann

Manchester United face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday afternoon. United have already confirmed their second-placed finish in the league after their 1-1 draw with Fulham on Tuesday evening but only confirmed their place after Chelsea beat Leicester City later that evening. As it currently stands, Leicester have dropped out of the UEFA Champions League places with Liverpool breaking into the top four, having a better goal difference – it will be a tense final match of the season to see which team takes fourth place. Wolves have nothing to play for in this match but will want a home win.

United face Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday, so there will be many players rested for this match and it is possible that the youth at the club and those coming back from injury get some minutes under their belts against Wolves with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer probably set on his XI for the final. As there is nothing to play for in this match, it would be the best way to go as another injury would severely hamper United’s chances of lifting the trophy in Gdansk. It has been a long tough season and considering where United started, there is an immense amount of pride in where they will finish – not matter what the haters say.

Manchester United: DLLWLW

Fulham 1-1 D, Liverpool 4-2 L, Leicester City 2-1 L, Aston Villa 3-1 W, AS Roma 3-2 L, AS Roma 6-2 W

Wolverhampton Wanderers: LLWDLW

Everton 1-0 L, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D, Burnley 4-0 L, Sheffield United 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes (28), Marcus Rashford (21), Edinson Cavani (16) and Mason Greenwood (12) top the United goalscorer charts after a turbulent but promising season.

Manchester United Goals: 28 – Bruno Fernandes, 21 – Marcus Rashford, 16 – Edinson Cavani, 12 – Mason Greenwood, 7 – Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 6 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Own Goal, Daniel James, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Amad Diallo, Fred, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

Over the last six matches, United’s form changed. They have won two matches, drawn one match and lost three matches. It is the poorest form since the start of the season – which was bad for United. Solskjaer’s side scored 15 goals, conceded 13 and kept no clean sheets. United will end the Premier League season in second place, that already being confirmed after the 1-1 draw with Fulham and Leicester City’s defeat to Chelsea. This last match of the season is a dead rubber for United and Wolves and should be used to give some of the promising youth players a chance to see what they need to do nest season to be give more chances.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Goals: 5 – Pedro Neto, Rúben Neves, 4 – Raúl Jiménez, Fábio Silva, 3 – Daniel Podence, Romain Saïss, Adama Traoré, 1 – Rayan Aït-Nouri, Willy Boly, Conor Coady, Leander Dendoncker, Morgan Gibbs-White, Willian José, João Moutinho, Vitinha

It has been a long and tough season for Wolves. In their last six matches, they have been in similar form to United in terms of results – two wins, one draw and three defeats. However, Wolves have scored just four goals, conceding nine goals and keeping just one clean sheet. Wolves are 12th in the Premier League before the final round of matches are played and if the likes of Crystal Place, Southampton and Newcastle United all win and Wolves lose, they could finish as lowly as 15th in the league. A win would keep then 12th and a draw could see them in the same place, or slightly lower. This is a dead rubber for them as much as it is for United.

Team News: Five players out for Wolves with three players definitely out for United ahead of the final Premier League match of the season.

Phil Jones (knee) and Harry Maguire (ankle) have been ruled out of the final Premier League match of the season with Maguire running out of time to be fit for the Europa League final on Wednesday. Fred and Scott McTominay had received knocks against Fulham on Tuesday with the latter being replaced in the match, but are both available. Daniel James has recovered and will play a part but Anthony Martial (knee) is unlikely to face Wolves. It could be a match where Solskjaer brings in some of the talented youth players, keeping many of his first team players fit for Gdansk, which is the important match.

Daniel Podence (groin/hip), Raul Jimenez (head), Owen Otasowie (knock), Pedro Neto (knee) and Jonny Otto (knee) have all been ruled out of the visit of United in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday. Wolves are in a position whereby they cannot finish any higher than 13th, which is where they sit after 37 matches played but could finish as low as 15th providing Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle United all win, which will be a tough one considering some of their opponents on Sunday. It has not been a memorable season for Wolves but they will regroup ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Predicted Starting XI: A youthful squad for United in the final Premier League fixture against Wolves; first team rested ahead of the UEFA Europa League final.

Solskjaer will need to keep his players fresh for the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday evening. Therefore, the majority of the players that will be involved in Gdansk should be kept out of this match. United have nothing further to gain from the Premier League this season and have safely confirmed their second-placed finish and a place in the UEFA Champions League next season. The important match in three days after this one. Hannibal Mejbri, Shola Shoretire, Anthony Elanga, Ethan Galbraith and Will Fish, among others could find some involvement in this match, either starting or appearing on the bench.

Match Prediction: 13 matches played between United and Wolves; United have won seven times with Wolves winning three with the pair drawing three times.

United and Wolves have met 13 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing three times with Wolves winning three times. United have scored 21 goals against Wolves, winning two penalties and scoring just one of them. Wolves have scored nine goals against United, not yet winning a penalty against them. United have kept six clean sheets with Wolves heaping two. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown 18 yellow cards with one red card whilst Wolves players have been shown 16 yellow cards and one red card. Both teams will be seeking to win this match.

Earlier in the season, United beat Wolves 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League with Marcus Rashford scoring the only goal of the match three minutes into added time, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. The last match between the two clubs at the Molineux was at the start of the 2019/20 season with the result a 1-1 draw. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 27th minute of the match, assisted by Rashford. Rúben Neves got an equaliser in the 55th minute of the match, assisted by João Moutinho. In the last five matches, United are undefeated against Wolves, but prior to that, had lost twice in a row in the league and the FA Cup.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Frustration at Old Trafford in the final match of 2020; De Gea, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood did well as Rashford scored a late winner

Manchester United beat Wolverhampton Wanders 1-0 at Old Trafford in the final Premier League match of 2020. It was a close encounter with both sides having few chances throughout the match. United could have scored twice through Bruno Fernandes in the first half with the Portuguese midfielder having another chance in the second half, the first two were saved and blocked with the latter blocked. United tried to get the better of their opposition but left it late with Marcus Rashford, assisted by Fernandes scoring the only goal of the match in the third of five minutes of added time. United rose to second in the Premier League table.

United started the match in good stead, pushing forward to try and cause some early damage against Wolves. Marcus Rashford had a chance in the ninth minute of the match after Mason Greenwood played the ball to him but the England forward saw his long-range effort saved by Rui Patricio. A minute before, Pedro Neto had the chance to put Wolves ahead. Bruno Fernandes had a chance to find the back of the net in the 18th minute but it was blocked. Edinson Cavani had a chance with a header in the 26th minute, missing the target but Fernandes had the best chance in the 34th minute, seeing the effort saved by the keeper.

Solskjaer made his first substitution at the start of the second half of the match with Luke Shaw replacing Alex Telles, which may have been because of an injury to the Brazilian. Wolves started to emerge as the better side in the second half, doing well with the ball and getting it into attacking areas to try and pressure United a little. However, nothing at either end was happening, which was a disappointment. Anthony Martial became the second substitution in the match after he replaced Greenwood in the 64th minute with United needing to find a way to get the victory they desire to end 2020 on a high.

In the 69th minute of the match, United got into the Wolves area with the ball being played into Cavani, who was in the box but Wolves gave away a corner, averting the danger. United found the back of the net through Cavani but the goal was disallowed for offside but in the run up, Conor Coady handled the ball in the box but the offside was given and no penalty was awarded. United would have to go back to the drawing board to find a winner in this match. David De Gea made a good save in the 72nd minute after an effort by Romain Saiss, who was flagged for offside so it he had scored, it would not have counted.

In the 75th minute of the match, Paul Pogba struck a great effort on goal with Patricio getting the save to deny the home side from taking the lead late in the second half. Fernandes had a chance in the 85th minute of the match, sending a shot towards goal from outside the box but saw it blocked again. United seem to have been running out of ideas with Wolves parking the bus at times in the second half. Despite trying to, United could not seem to get a goal, However, almost at the death, Rashford put United ahead, assisted by Fernandes. Solskjaer made his third substation with Scott McTominay replacing Fernandes in the 90+5th minute.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made some good saved to deny Wolves, especially the precise save in the second half of the match. Seemed to suffer an injury late in the second half after a slow collision with Traore and after a few seconds seemed fine to continue.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

It was good to see him back after missing the 2-2 draw with Leicester City open Boxing Day. Defensively he did well but in terms of attacking, I would like to see a bigger and better input from him.

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3 Eric Bailly

Defended well against Wolves and did not really put a foot wrong, as has been the case in the past with the Ivorian, who could be minutes away from a red card or an injury.

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5 Harry Maguire

Led well at times with United being frustrated at home by Wolves, who did not look to cause much damage against United, despite having a few chances and forcing a few saves.

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27 Alex Telles

Had a pretty uninspiring first half. Got forward quite a bit but did nothing of note to help his club get on top. He did not come back out for the second half and was replaced by Shaw.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played a good defensive role but in terms of attacking from the midfield, this was not as good as it could have and should have been.

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6 Paul Pogba

Had a good long-range effort on goal in the second half, which looked to have stung the hands of the goalkeeper. Seemed to play better in the second half as he got further up field.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Played well in the first half and provided two good balls into Fernandes in the first half, which should have resulted in at least one goal. Replaced by Martial in the 64th minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Could have had two goals in the first half, having the better of two chances in the 34th minute of the match. Hada chance in the 85th minute, but saw another shot blocked, which was unfortunate.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Was not at his best against Wolves. Tried to make the difference but it was not happening for him. However, at the death he found the winner to give United all three points. It was a frustrating night before that winner.

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21 Edinson Cavani

Found the back of the net but was ruled offside, despite there being a hand ball in the box, which was not given due to Coady's hand not being in an unnatural position. Did well at times but was forced out wide a few times, which left nobody in the box for chances to be scored.

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Substitutes

23 Luke Shaw

Replaced Telles 46'. Got forward for a lot of the second half. Could have done more offensively, but it was one go those matches.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Greenwood 64'. Missed a good chance in the second half, sending the ball into the stands. He should be doing much better with shots like that.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Fernandes 90+5'. Came on at the death and did not have the time to get involved in the match with United scoring the winner two minutes before he came on.

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 90+3′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 90+3′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles (Shaw 46′); Matic, Pogba; Greenwood (Martial 64′), Fernandes (McTominay 90+5′), Rashford; Cavani

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Tuanzebe; Mata, Fred, James, Van de Beek

Bookings: Marcus Rashford 50′; Rui Patricio 73′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Cavani, Greenwood, Fernandes and Rashford start against Wolves; Martial, Van de Beek and McTominay on the bench

Manchester United welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening – which is also the last match of 2020. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be annoyed with the draw away to Leicester City on Boxing Day and will be seeking to get another three points in the bag in a crucial match for the club, ending 2020 on a high and moving on to 2021. United have shown some improvement this season and had risen to third place in the Premier League, now sitting in fourth before this round of matches have all been completed.

Solskjaer will be happy with what he has seen so far this season with United making a bid to have a much better season than last. United may not be classed as title contenders yet but after Liverpool slipped to a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield, it leaves United five points behind the current Champions with a game in hand over them. Wolves drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening, which kept United fourth in the Premier League table, if the North London club get the victory. When United play their game in hand, they might not be far from the league leaders.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles;

Matic, Pogba;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford;

Cavani

Substitutes:

Henderson; Shaw, Tuanzebe; Mata, Fred, James, Van de Beek, McTominay; Martial

Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Patricio;

Kilman, Coady, Saiss;

Hoever, Moutinho, Neves, Ait-Nouri;

Vitinha;

Traore, Neto;

Substitutes:

Ruddy; Semedo, Marques, Richards; Podence, Otasowie, Cundle; Silva, Corbeanu

United and Wolves have met 12 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won six times, drawing there times and losing three times. United have scored 20 goals against Wolves, winning two penalties and scoring one of them. Wolves have scored nine goals, winning no penalties. United have kept five clean sheets with Wolves keeping two. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 17 yellow cards with one red card whereas Wolves have been shown 15 yellow cards and one red card. United will be looking to go back to winning ways after their 2-2 draw with Leicester on Boxing Day.

In this fixture at Old Trafford last season, played on the 1 February 2020, it was a 0-0 draw and Bruno Fernandes’ debut for the club after arriving at the end of the January transfer window. It was not an ideal result, but positive one for a club that had gone through turbulent times during the 2019/20 season and it was going to become more turbulent with the coronavirus pandemic on the way. At the Molineux last season, which was played on the 19 August 2019, it was. 1-1 draw with Anthony Martial opening the scoring in the 27th minute of the match and Rúben Neves equalising in the 55th minute of the match.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW