Who: Wolves vs Manchester United
When: Monday, August 19th @ 3:00 pm ET
Line: Wolves +230 | Draw +225 | NYCFC +138
The gloomy atmosphere parted ways for bright sunshine at Old Trafford with Manchester United’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Chelsea. After much uncertainty, a strong performance like that reaffirmed the many positives of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s philosophy.
Now, consistency is key for United to fight for a permanent Premier League top-four spot. However, a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers is anything but fun. Granted, Wolves’ season began with only a draw, but they’re still a force to be reckoned with at home. Considering their impenetrable fortress that is the Molineux Stadium, OGS and co need to be at their strongest to sustain their wonderful start.
Wolves Likely Starting XI:
Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Jonny, Moutinho, Jota, Jimenez.
Wolves shouldn’t have to make any changes from last week because of how well synchronized their regular starting lineup already is at home. New signing Patrick Cutrone, I think, will need to wait for his league full-debut after featuring on Thursday’s UEFA Europa League qualifiers game.
Manchester United Likely Starting XI:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, James, Pereira, Rashford, Martial.
Thankfully for OGS, all three summer signings shone through with strong performances against Chelsea. Daniel James, I feel, should get his full Premier League debut after impressing at Old Trafford. Fred, as well as Nemanja Matic, are yet to prove themselves worthy of breaking into the midfield, while Alexis Sanchez remains unfit amidst questions marks around his future.
Wolves vs Manchester United Match Preview
Well, this hasn’t exactly been the nicest hunting ground for Manchester United in recent times. United lost twice in both visits to the Molineux last season, leaving OGS frustrating. When you look back at how end-to-end, action-packed the fixtures were last season, I think some fireworks are guaranteed on Monday.
United, although, look a much more refreshed side from last season thanks to an effective pre-season. They’re now fitter, more energetic in the field and most importantly, looking very strong defensively with Harry Maguire along with Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s heroics. With Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial roaring, Daniel James bringing the speed, Paul Pogba enjoying life, United look daunting going forward again.
However, they must put in a more compact performance than against Chelsea. Some worrying signs crept up last season, as they were overrun in midfield and albeit sloppy going forward. Those cobwebs must be extinguished if Solskjaer truly wants his side to come out with comprehensive victories away from home.
A cruel case of VAR denied Nuno Espirito Santos’ side an opening matchday win. While they weren’t as clinical as last season against Leicester City, Wolves tend to turn up the volume at home. The atmosphere, fan-support, and similar surroundings all work wonders in amplifying the effectiveness of their fast breaks and beautifully linked attacking style.
If the Raul Jimenez-Diogo Jota duo isn’t deadly enough, new signings Pedro Neto and Cutrone’s arrival has amped up their dynamism. It’s effectively an attack vs defense battle for both sides to decide the encounter. But with United desperate to break their curse, I think their superior momentum along with rigid shape will offer the hosts a menacing challenge than last season.
As much as a giant threat Wolves are at home, I think United should scrape a win. OGS’ side looks confident, happy and well-synchronized. These are all potent ingredients to get a narrow win on Monday night.