Wolves - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils looking to make it eight wins from nine Premier League games to open up a four point gap over Manchester City
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side out to put more pressure on their local rivals by taking three points at Molineux against a home side searching for their first win under Terry Connor
By Shane Farrington
Zubar, Bassong, Stearman, Ward
Kightly, O'Hara, Edwards, Jarvis
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Scholes, Carrick, Young
Terry Connor is still likely to be without influential midfield man Karl Henry who has been struggling with a hamstring injury. At the back, on-loan Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong is expected to overcome an ankle knock to be fit in time to face the current champions.
Despite showing glimpses of talent in the 2-0 defeat to Blackburn, David Davis could well drop out in favour of Michael Kightly as Connor looks for more of a creative spark. Steven Hunt is hopeful of making the squad after returning to training following a hernia problem.
Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to make changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Athletic Bilbao in the week. However, Phil Jones is unlikely to recover from the bout of flu which ruled him out of the trip to Spain so Rafael looks set to keep his spot at right-back. Paul Scholes could replace fellow veteran Ryan Giggs in the middle of the park to add a pair of fresh legs.
Key man Antonio Valencia may well return to the starting line-up after travelling with the squad to Spain, while Wayne Rooney could to be partnered upfront by Javier Hernandez, who was an unused substitute against Bilbao, as United look to make the most of his movement and pace.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Wolves have won two of their last three home matches against the current Premier League champions; a 1-0 win back in the 2003-04 campaign, and a crucial 2-1 victory last season.
- The home side have only won one out of their last 14 league games, a 2-1 victory against fellow relegation candidates QPR.
- And have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 25 league matches, with their last shut out coming against Aston Villa last August.
- Steven Fletcher (pictured right) is the club’s top goalscorer with an impressive 10 goals in 22 appearances, including a goal earlier in the season at Old Trafford in Wolves’ 4-1 defeat.
- Manchester United have won seven of their last eight matches. The only game in that run which they failed to win was their dramatic 3-3 against Chelsea at Stamford Bride.
- Sixteen different players have managed to score in the league for the Red Devils this season.
- United face five of the sides currently in the bottom six in their next six matches - Wolves, Blackburn, QPR, Wigan and Aston Villa.
- Sir Alex's men have only failed to score in one of their 28 league fixtures this season, which was in their 3-0 loss against Newcastle United.
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Top 3 Predictions
Wolves 0-3 Manchester United
- 27.9 %
Wolves 0-2 Manchester United
- 12.5 %
Wolves 1-3 Manchester United
- 12.4 %
|Premier League (EPL)||18 Mar 2012||Wolves 0 - Manchester United 5|
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Dec 2011||Manchester United 4 - Wolves 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||5 Feb 2011||Wolves 2 - Manchester United 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||6 Nov 2010||Manchester United 2 - Wolves 1|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||26 Oct 2010||Manchester United 3 - Wolves 2|
|14 Dec 2013||Wolves 0 - Milton Keynes Dons 2||EFL1|
|30 Nov 2013||Peterborough United 1 - Wolves 0||EFL1|
|26 Nov 2013||Wolves 2 - Tranmere Rovers 0||EFL1|
|23 Nov 2013||Wolves 0 - Brentford 0||EFL1|
|19 Nov 2013||Wolves 1 - Oldham Athletic 2||FA|
|1||Dorus De Vries||Goalkeeper|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|22||Fabio Da Silva||Defender|
The direct winger could be key to whether Wolves can manage to stay in the Premier League this season. His pace and trickery make him a handful for opposition full-backs to deal with and strikers Steven Fletcher and Kevin Doyle will be hoping he can provide them chances to score.
The home side will need him to put in a sparkling display if they are to get anything against a Red Devils side in fantastic domestic form.
The 26-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant season so far, netting 20 goals in just 24 league appearances.
Most of United’s recent league wins have seen the former Everton man get on the score sheet so Wolves will know they have to keep him quiet.
Wolves know they need to start getting points, and fast, if they are to maintain their top-flight status. However matches don’t come much tougher than against Manchester United.
The Red Devils come into the game on the back of being knocked out of the Europa League by an Athletic Bilbao and will be keen to bounce back in style. An away win would widen the gap at the top of the table over local rivals Manchester City before the Blues host Chelsea next week. Therefore it could well turn out to be a comfortable away day for Sir Alex’s side and another vital three points as they look to retain the Premier League title.