Manchester United vs. Wolves PreviewNathan Best
Manchester United will be hoping to continue their unbeaten start under Ralf Rangnick as they host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford. A win for the home side will move them to within a point of Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification.
Following the 3-1 win over Burnley at Old Trafford last time out, United are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games with their last defeat being Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s final game in charge against Watford. Ralf Rangnick’s interim in charge has United amassing a total of 10 points from a possible 12, without particularly playing well only in spells.
Admittedly United are not where they need to be in the Premier League as we enter the new year. The Red Devils are miles off the league leaders and find themselves in a battle for the top four once again. After 18 games played United have collected a total of 31 points. Defensively speaking, United have been poor this season, conceding on average 1.4 goals per game. Clean sheets have been hard to come by as well, since United only managed consecutive clean sheets in March, prior to them obtaining them in the games against Norwich City and Crystal Palace.
In their last game, we saw much improvement from United in comparison to their performance against Newcastle United. The win over Burnley saw promising performances from the likes of Jadon Sancho and Scott McTominay, who capped his game off with a very astute finish from the edge of the area. A win on Monday will be United’s fourth in a row at Old Trafford.
Wolverhampton Wanderers would have had more time for preparation, as their game against Arsenal was the latest in the long line of games to be called off due to COVID outbreaks within the away side.
In their most recent encounter, they were unlucky to come away with a point against European Champions Chelsea – giving them a fifth clean sheet from seven Premier League matches. They have proven themselves to be a very stern outfit against the bigger teams by only losing to a singular goal against Liverpool, Manchester City and United earlier on this season.
However, with only one win to boast from their last six in the Premier League, Wolves’ European charge has lost a good chunk of momentum in recent weeks, as the West Midlands outfit occupy the eighth spot in the rankings – six points below their upcoming opponents.
Bruno Fernandes is back from suspension served in midweek, so Jadon Sancho might make way for the returning midfielder.
Eric Bailly will be unavailable as he travels for AFCON duty for the Ivory Coast. Raphael Varane is expected to make a return against the team he made his debut against.
As for Wolves, Pedro Neto and Jonny are making progress in their recoveries from long-term injuries but remain in the treatment room alongside Willy Boly, Hwang Hee-Chan and Yerson Mosquera.