Man United vs Wolves
Manchester United and Wolves will both go into this game with a top-four finish in their sights. But who will emerge the victor?
74 mins: Weghorst plays in Sancho and the substitute tries a low shot at goal, which Bentley turns around the post. Wolves are threatening more and more now.
Manchester United face Wolves on Saturday at Old Trafford in a game that could have huge implications on the Premier League’s top four. The Red Devils have lost two of their last three away games and the gap to the likes of Liverpool has widened, leaving Erik ten Hag’s side in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification for a fourth season running.
Ahead of the crucial game, GOAL brings you all the latest team news and developments from both camps.
Defeats to Brighton and West Ham have left United’s top-four ambitions hanging in the balance, but they can close the gap with a win on home turf. They’ll be looking to do just that against a Wolves side who are safe from the drop zone.
The visitors remain without Lisandro Martinez (foot), Phil Jones (knee), Tom Heaton (ankle) and Donny van de Beek (knee). Raphael Varane has made a quick recovery from injury and is likely to be involved. Scott McTominay could also return, but Marcus Rashford will miss out as he continues to deal with an injury in his leg. Ten Hag might choose to recall Jadon Sancho or give Wout Weghorst a chance in the attack, as profligate duo Anthony Martial and the inconsistent Matteo Darmian battle it out for a starting berth at centre-back.
For United, it’s widely expected that David de Gea will retain his place in goal despite the gaffe that handed the Hammers victory last weekend. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should keep his spot at right-back in front of Diogo Dalot, while Luke Shaw will play on the left as a defensive unit aiming to make it 16 league clean sheets.
Wolves’ defensive frailties are exposed when they face teams in the top half of the table and Julen Lopetegui has a lot of work to do with his side. Boubacar Traore and Chiquinho are still nursing injuries while Sasa Kalajdzic is unlikely to feature. They will hope to improve on their recent record against the top four, which reads 10 defeats and just one victory in their last 11 encounters.
The match between Wolves and Manchester United will kick off at 3 p.m. BST at Old Trafford in the UK (which is 1 a.m. ET, or 7 a.m. PT in the US). The game will be shown live on Sky Sports Action, and will also be broadcast on ESPN in the United States.
Manchester United will look to rebound from a frustrating draw with Arsenal and extend their lead in the race for the top four with a win at home against Wolves. The Red Devils have won their last five home matches in the Premier League and are undefeated at Old Trafford this season. In addition, the team has not lost consecutive home games against Wolves since a run of three between March 1960 and September 1961.
Despite their recent upswing in form, Wolves are still outside the automatic promotion places in the Premier League table and face a battle to avoid relegation from the top flight. However, Joao Moutinho’s late goal against Aston Villa on Boxing Day gave the Midlands club a much-needed boost and they should be a competitive side in this encounter at Old Trafford.
Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui will likely stick with the same side that earned a 1-0 victory against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, and the Spaniard could reward his side’s efforts with a second successive win at Old Trafford. Regardless of the line-up, the visitors are under threat from injuries to Jonny (thigh), Boubacar Traore, and Sasa Kalajdzic.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will have to be careful with his star players, especially in the case of Marcus Rashford, who is a doubt for the clash after suffering an ankle injury during training on Tuesday. However, the hosts should be boosted by the return of Raphael Varane after a month out with an injury and the inclusion of Luke Shaw. The Red Devils’ backline is weakened by the absence of injured duo Tom Heaton and Scott McTominay, but backup keeper David De Gea should be fit enough to take his place in goal.
Man United have won their last three matches at Old Trafford and will be keen to maintain this winning run against a Wolves side who have struggled away from home. The Midlands club have won just four times on the road this season and are yet to score more than one goal in a league match outside of their home fixtures. In fact, they have only managed to score 30 goals in 35 Premier League games, which is an alarming statistic.
In contrast, United are the only team in the top six who have scored more than 50 goals this season and could even surpass the milestone of 100 for the first time since Wayne Rooney was at the club in 2022. Marcus Rashford is a huge threat up front, having scored 19 goals in his debut season at the club, and he has been backed by bookmakers to score against the Wolves on Saturday.
A win for Manchester United will lift them to fourth in the table and they remain unbeaten at home this season in all competitions. However, the Red Devils have lost their last two matches in the league and face a battle to make the Champions League quarter-finals. They are currently five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and will have to win all of their remaining matches just to have a chance of qualifying for the tournament.
Despite their poor away form, Wolves are not out of the race just yet and a point against United would keep them in the mix for the final play-off spot. Nevertheless, the visitors are unlikely to be able to break down the home side’s defence as they have conceded at least one goal in each of their last four league meetings.
The game between Man United and Wolves is expected to be a low-scoring affair. Both teams will prioritise keeping possession and the Red Devils’ attack has dried up in recent weeks with Rashford struggling to live up to expectations. Wolves’ Jose Sa is a strong threat on the counter-attack and will be a tough player for Manchester United to cope with.
A resurgent Manchester United boosted their top-four hopes with a hard-fought victory over Wolves at Old Trafford. The Red Devils, who slipped behind Liverpool in recent weeks, saw off the challenge of their Midlands rivals thanks to Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho. It was a sixth home win of the season for Erik ten Hag’s side, who are now just one point behind fourth placed Chelsea.
Martial’s brilliant strike from a tight angle opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour. Wolves’ defenders were all over the place when trying to clear a long ball forward, and the Brazilian striker was perfectly placed to capitalise on their mistakes.
Garnacho added a second with a deflected shot in the closing stages. Wolves had a chance to pull a goal back when Hwang ran in behind the defence onto a long ball, but De Gea did enough to stop him.
Earlier, De Gea had saved from Fernando Forestieri and Raul Jimenez. And he was again in fine form as he kept a clean sheet for the fifth time this season. It is his highest number of league clean sheets at Old Trafford.
He is aided by the improved performances of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof, while Luke Shaw has emerged as arguably the best left-back in the Premier League.
Wolves are almost safe in their top-flight status, but they have struggled to find any attacking momentum in their last three away games. They have scored just two goals in those matches, and they will hope to improve their record when they visit Old Trafford on Tuesday.
45 mins: The home side dominate early on. Shaw works the ball down the left and crosses for Antony, who heads over the bar. Then, he tries to put a low cross into the box but it is cut out by Dawson.