Wolves v Manchester United Preview

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Wolves will look to end a disappointing season on a high note as they face Manchester United at Molineux on Sunday. 

Richarlison’s header at Goodison Park on Wednesday succumbed Wanderers to their second straight away defeat as they lost 1-0 to Everton, but Nuno’s side did win their last home outing against Brighton a fortnight ago. 

Since securing a Champions League place and a first second place finish in three years, United are winless in three and are expected to heavily rotate their side ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk. 

Kick off at Molineux is at 4pm and the game will be broadcast on BT Sport.

 

Wolves form

In any other part of the season Wolves’ last two defeats and the lack of attacking edge surrounding them may have sparked concern, but with Nuno’s side having had nothing to play for for the best part of five months now, everyone around Molineux is simply desperate for the season to end. Thankfully, they’ll get their wish at 6pm on Sunday. 

Wanderers produced just six shots on target in their last two defeats to Tottenham and Everton, which will probably surprise most who endured both games. At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium especially Wolves were completely devoid of any attacking threat and the scoreline flattered them, while at Goodison an uncharacteristically impressive first half showing fizzled out as the second 45 wore on. 

Although Wolves’ squad simply isn’t good enough to compete in the Premier League and their manager has always been safety-first since promotion to the top-flight, it’s been disappointing that their nothing-to-play-for status hasn’t produced some entertaining football. Adama Traore has played well for most of Wolves’ recent games, but he is currently being expected to produce goals almost single-handedly, which hasn’t been possible since Lewis Dunk’s dismissal two weeks ago. 

With just 90 more miserable minutes to contend with, it would be nice if Nuno’s side could send their 4,500 returning fans home feeling even slightly entertained. 

 

Manchester United form

Although facing the second place team on the final day of the campaign would normally be a daunting prospect, there’s no doubt United have their sights set on other goals.

Since beating Aston Villa and securing their Champions League status for next campaign two weeks ago United have lost to Leicester (albeit with a heavily rotated side) and Liverpool and drawn with relegated Fulham, signalling their intention to focus on Wednesday’s final in Poland. 

With absolutely nothing to play for in the league and a huge final around the corner it’s not expected that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will field any of his big hitters at Molineux, it’s hard to pick a player that Wolves should look out for. Should they be involved in any capacity, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani will cause Wolves all manner of problems, with the latter especially hitting great form in the final couple of months of the season. 

 

Wolves v Manchester United team news

While rumours persisted over the last couple of weeks that Raul Jimenez may be involved on the bench against United, the Mexican will not return until the start of next season following tests on his skull this week. 

As well as Jimenez, Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and Jonny will not be involved on Sunday, while John Ruddy is expected to start in what may well prove to be his final game for Wolves. 

As mentioned previously United are expected to heavily rotate their side, with Scott McTominay and Fred unlikely to be involved after picking up knocks against Fulham on Tuesday. 

Captain Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial will miss out and face unlikely races against time to be fit for Gdansk, while Daniel James is a minor doubt after returning from injury.

 

Wolves line up prediction: Ruddy; Hoever, Coady, Boly, Ait-Nouri; Neves, Moutinho; Traore, Vitinha, Gibbs-White; Silva.

 

Wolves v Manchester United head to head

United will head to Molineux for a league game for the first time in almost two years, with Ruben Neves’ brilliant long-range strike earning Wolves a 1-1 draw in August 2019. 

Remarkably, Solskjaer’s side haven’t won at Molineux in four visits in any competition since Wolves returned to the Premier League in 2018, including two 2-1 defeats in 2018-19 and 1-1 and 0-0 draws in league and cup in 2019-20.

United’s last win at Molineux came in a 5-0 success under Sir Alex Ferguson in March 2012. 

 

Wolves v Manchester United prediction

 

With neither side seemingly interested in playing this game, this one really could go either way.

United are probably favourites, even if they are expected to make eight to 11 changes, although their already depleted back line being rotated even further could cause trouble. 

Or at least it would against any other side. Wolves have scored one goal against a side with 11 men on the field in their last five games, are on course for their second-lowest ever Premier League goal tally and have had almost no forward threat since Raul Jimenez went off at the Emirates. 

It could end up being the stoppable force against the moveable object, but it’s hard to back anything but a United win to cap off one of the dullest seasons in recent Wolves history. 

 

Prediction: Wolves 0-2 Manchester United

 

James Wynn is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.