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Premier League

  • 5 February 2011
  • • 17:30
  • • Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 28811

Wolves - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils welcome Park Ji-Sung back from Asian Cup duty

Wolves - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils welcome Park Ji-Sung back from Asian Cup duty



Mick McCarthy has a slight striking headache ahead of the visit of league leaders Manchester United.

With both Stephen Hunt and Manchester United youth product Sylvan Ebanks-Blake struggling, McCarthy could opt to hand a start to loan signing Jamie O’Hara, but it is more likely that he will appear from the bench.

Adlene Guedioura (broken leg) and Michael Kightly (knee) remain long-term absentees.

Possible starting XI: Hahnemann; Foley, Berra, Stearman, Ward; Jarvis, Edwards, Henry, Milijas, Hunt; Doyle.

Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson may choose to shuffle the pack when his team travel to bottom of the table Wolves, with a more or less full strength squad.

With Park Ji-Sung back from the Asian Cup, Ferguson may choose to rest Ryan Giggs, who has featured heavily of late.

Rafael Da Silva may also be drafted back in following his rest against Aston Villa, hoping to usurp to recently retired Gary Neville as the club’s long-term established right-back.

Nani will probably start, with Ferguson keen to get the winger back to full match fitness. And with Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez all firing on all cylinders, one will find themselves unlucky not to start.

Possible starting XI: Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Park, Fletcher, Scholes, Nani; Berbatov, Rooney.

United juggernaut steams on

Manchester United have now gone 24 games unbeaten in the Premier League.

It is unlikely that they will be fazed by their trip to Molineux to face the team at the opposite end of the table, though their record on the road leaves a lot to be desired, only winning three times.

Ferguson will be keen to rotate the squad with the FA Cup games against Crawley Town and Champions League fixtures against Marseille in the pipeline.

Scoring goals should not be an issue whoever the personnel, with all of United's front line particularly impressive of late. Rooney’s brace in his last outing against Aston Villa may prove the catalyst for the misfiring striker to find his feet in front of goal again.

The late, late show

This is the third time the sides have met this season, with the spoils going Manchester United’s way the previous two times.

Although, given the bipolar nature of the teams’ league positions, the games have been much closer than you would expect, with typical late United goals being the deciding factors.

Ferguson’s side knocked Wolves out of the League Cup when they met in October courtesy of a late Javier Hernandez goal, whilst a month later, United won 2-1 in the Premier League fixture, this time with Park Ji-Sung sinking a late winner.

With Wolves’ inability to find the back of the net, their joint top league goal scorers Ebanks-Blake and Steven Fletcher have the combined tally of less than half of Berbatov’s output, a lot rests on their defence being able to shackle a rampant United attack.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
26Wayne HennesseyGoalkeeper
23Ronald ZubarDefender
5Richard StearmanDefender
16Christophe BerraDefender
3George ElokobiDefender
14Adam Hammill Midfielder
7Nenad MilijasMidfielder
24Jamie O'HaraMidfielder
8Karl HenryMidfielder
7Matthew JarvisMidfielder
29Kevin DoyleStriker
24Marcus HahnemannGoalkeeper
6Jody CraddockDefender
4David EdwardsMidfielder
9Steven FletcherStriker
32Kevin FoleyDefender
11Stephen WardDefender
9Sylvan Ebanks-BlakeStriker
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
21Rafael SilvaMidfielder
15Nemanja VidicDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
11Ryan GiggsManager/Coach
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
16John O'SheaDefender
10Michael OwenStriker
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
12Chris SmallingDefender
14Javier HernándezStriker
It’s bottom versus top, and the league table never lies. Surely it must be a United win this weekend?
Editor's Prediction
Wolves 0

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