Manchester United host Wolves in the Premier League on Tuesday evening for what is a vital game in the Red Devils’ surprising title challenge.
United saw their 100% away record halted by Leicester in a 2-2 draw at the weekend, but can still take positives from a game where they created plenty of clear chances and earned a point against a top four rival.
Wolves also drew at the weekend, leaving it late to punish Tottenham who tried their best to sit on a 1-0 lead at Molineux but ultimately caved in the closing stages. They’re struggling without talisman Raul Jimenez, but have managed to draw in three of their previous four meetings with United.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the clash.
When is Kick Off? Tuesday 29 December
What Time is Kick Off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it Played? Old Trafford
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime Video
Referee? Jonathan Moss
Bruno Fernandes made his debut when Wolves last visited Old Trafford in the Premier League
back in February 2020, and has since become United’s go-to man for creativity and goals, setting one up and scoring at the weekend.
A back injury forced Victor Lindelof off against Leicester so it’s unlikely he’ll feature against Wolves, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka also remains a doubt, leaving United short of options at right back.
Long-term absentees Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo remain out of the fold, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has an otherwise full squad to choose from.
The visitors will be without Raul Jimenez and Jonny for the trip. Jimenez continues to recover from a fractured skull, while Jonny is out with an ACL injury.
Marcal came off late on against Spurs with an injury which makes him a doubt for the game, while Leander Dendoncker and Willy Boly are also set to miss out.
Manchester United: De Gea; Tuanzebe, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani.
Wolves: Patricio; Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri; Neves, Moutinho; Traore, Podence, Neto; Silva.
United have enjoyed a generally strong 2020 despite losing three semi finals and have found their feet again after a troubling start to December.
Defeats to Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig saw Solskjaer’s side unexpectedly crash out of the Champions League at the start of the month, but the Red Devils have bounced back and found their feet once more.
A late flurry away to Everton sent them through to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and while a point seems disappointing away to Leicester, it’s by no means a bad result. Marcus Rashford was on target against the Foxes for his sixth league goal of the season, but could’ve had more than one and must be more clinical in front of goal against Wolves.
The visitors haven’t quite had the start to the season that they’d have liked and sit 11th, but can head into 2021 in the top half with a win.
The loss of Raul Jimenez to injury and Diogo Jota’s summer move to Liverpool has hurt Nuno Espirito Santo’s side who look less of a threat in front of goal, but they do still possess a squad packed full of talent and have managed to frustrate United in recent times.
Here’s how each side has fared in their last five games.
Leicester 2-2 Manchester United (26/12)
Everton 0-2 Manchester United (23/12)
Manchester United 6-2 Leeds (20/12)
Sheffield United 2-3 Manchester United (17/12)
Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City (12/12)
Wolves 1-1 Tottenham (27/12)
Burnley 2-1 Wolves (21/12)
Wolves 2-1 Chelsea (15/12)
Wolves 0-1 Aston Villa (12/12)
Liverpool 4-0 Wolves (6/12)
While Wolves will head to Old Trafford content with a point against Spurs and lifted by the result, United will feel they deserved more than the point they left Leicester with.
Two avoidable goals cost the Red Devils a win and more clinical finishing would’ve put the game to bed.
Nuno has the side and the tactics to frustrate United defensively, but a lack of Jimenez will limit them from exploiting the home side’s leaky defence.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-0 Wolves