Thursday, August 13, 2020

Prediction: Wolves vs Manchester United

Tom Dunstan in FA Cup, Free Soccer Predictions 3 Jan 2020

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

With a spot in the fourth round of this year’s FA Cup up for grabs this weekend, Wolves will welcome Manchester United to Molineux with both sides desperate for a victory on Saturday evening.

Wolves

Starting with the hosts, while Wolves may have a Europa League knockout tie on the horizon, Nuno Espírito Santo’s men have endured what can best be described as a rollercoaster festive period. Despite playing most of the second half against a 10-man Watford at Vicarage Road on New Year’s Day, the relegation scrappers picked up a deserved 2-1 victory and the Oranges have now been hit with back-to-back Premier League defeats since their iconic comeback against Manchester City last month. With many around the Midlands fearing how Wolves’ new hectic schedule would affect Santo’s squad, they have lost three of their past five Premier League games, as many as they’d lost in their previous 21 games combined. Although the likes of Adama Traoré and Raul Jiménez might be continuing to lead Wolves’ line, there is no doubt that fans around Molineux will be concerned by their side’s issues at the back. Shipping a pair of strikes against the Hornets earlier in the week, the Oranges have managed to record just a single clean sheet in any of their last 13 matches against Premier League opposition, a run that stems back to the 6th of October.

Team News

Wolves are also expected to rotate their squad, although they have no new injury concerns with Morgan Gibbs-White and Willy Boly their only absentees.

Nuno could take the opportunity to rest key players such as Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore, while Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota could start after sitting out against Watford.

Manchester United

As for the visitors, while many around Old Trafford had started to believe that United were turning a corner, the Reds once again showed their rather glaring inconsistencies on New Year’s Day. Putting in a sluggish display and hit with a 2-0 defeat away at a struggling Arsenal earlier in the week, the former champions once again find their top-four deficit extended to five points. Despite picking up back-to-back victories over Burnley and Newcastle last month, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have continued to show some worrying issues outside of Manchester. Including their defeat away in North London last time out, the Red Devils have won just two of their last seven matches away from Old Trafford, a run that also saw them hit with a humiliating 1-0 defeat away at Kazakhstan champions Astana back in November. There is no doubt that United’s traveling squad will also be more than aware of their most previous FA Cup trip to the Midlands. When United made the trip to Wolves in the sixth round back in March, the Reds suffered a 2-1 defeat on the road.

Team News

In another injury set back, United have confirmed that midfielder talisman Paul Pogba has suffered another ankle issue and once again requires surgery.

Elsewhere, with four goals in his last six matches across all formats, 18-year-old Mason Greenwood could be handed a return to United’s starting XI this weekend. The likes of Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are also vying for a return on Saturday.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When Manchester United made the trip to Molineux in last year’s FA Cup, Wolves picked up a 2-1 win.
  • However, Wolves have lost three of their last five Premier League matchups, as many as they’d lost in their previous 21 games combined.
  • Manchester United have won just two of their last seven away matches across all competitions.
  • Mason Greenwood has four goals in his last six matches across all formats.
  • Five of Wolves’ last six matches against Premier League opposition have seen both teams find the net at full-time.

Conclusion

In a battle of two sides struggling with their consistency, Saturday’s matchup at Molineux could prove to produce chances at both ends. With both Wolves and United still dealing with some glaring issues at the back, coupled with each of the last four meetings between the two sides ending with both teams finding the net, we’re backing a similar outcome this weekend.

Verdict: Both teams to score 

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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