Had that goal been given at Leicester it really would have been a 10/10 start.
Still, getting on the board in a tough fixture is not to be sniffed at and with relaxed progress in Europe, we’re perfectly set coming into this one.
Utd couldn’t find a way to beat Wolves in three games last season despite taking the lead in two of those contests.
With a couple of Molineux defeats still fresh in the memory it will be intriguing to see how that impacts on their mentality this time.
For Wolves, it’s about replicating what they’ve done so many times before, which is providing maximum resistance and striking when the opportunities present themselves.
Building from the back is never a bad idea and as such, I thought Utd did good business over the summer.
In Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, they’ve added two high performing Premier League defenders who will significantly improve their team.
The balance in midfield remains a question mark and Chelsea exploited a lot of gaps at Old Trafford last weekend before succumbing to a 4-0 drubbing. Most agree that the game could easily have gone very differently.
I still look at many of their players; Rashford, Pogba, Martial, Lingard, etc and question whether they have the consistency to be right at the very top. They certainly have the quality.
They won 9 and lost 7 away from home last season and that return leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with good scope for improvement.
This feels like it’s a more important game for them than it is for us as a marker of what they might expect in the weeks and months to come.
The away end
Some thoughts lifted from the pre-match thread on the Red Cafe Forum:
They caught us cold last season. Our teams fitness was running out and we had injuries. You could also bring into question our desire to beat Wolves. I hope that they all remember those defeats and use it as motivation. We need to match their work rate this time round. We are much more dangerous going forward, and now with a solid defense, we won’t be torn apart so easily. Midfield is the area where the battle will be won. We just need to dominate them through pure grit.
We’ve got to move the ball a lot faster in this one as Wolves are lethal on the counter. The amount of times Pogba and McTominay got caught on the ball against Chelsea was insane. I think James should come in for Pereira.
Expect a tougher game than Chelsea of course. Not because I think Wolves are necessarily going to be better than Chelsea over the course of this season, but Wolves are at home, will be fitter having played competitive football for a couple of weeks and have Jimenez & Jota in attack. If we give away the kind of chances we gave to Chelsea in the first half, Wolves will score. Still, I’ll go with a 1-2 victory for us. We need to find that right midfield balance and keep picking the right moments and passes in counter attacks like the second half against Chelsea. Very similar line-up.
Ole’s counter attack style so far worked very well against team who is looking to attack. Which is also why we did relatively well last season against the top 6 teams. The concern remains whether we can break teams down who set up shop to defence, which is what Wolves will do.The only thing I felt easier about the coming match (despite our 2 away loss last season) is Maguire and AWB, so we are unlikely going to be caught with our pants down should Wolves tries to sucker punch us with a counter.
Thursday showed Nuno has a good handful of very useful players ready to come in when needed, but the first XI still feels locked down.
It’s good that six of the above will have had over a week to recover, while the others only played bit-parts against Pyunik.
Funny that Moutinho was out there clocking up more minutes with most suggesting he’d be the one who needed the rest. He is some player and never for one-second looks off the pace.
Hopefully, Jota’s confidence goes through the roof after that stupendous finish. Our forwards taking their chances will likely be the key factor in whether we get a result.
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Hats off to Death of an Electric Citizen who registered a maximum in Gameweek 1 to take an early lead in the Prediction League table.
Some 28 others correctly guessed the right outcome without the score so well done to everyone.
As always, if you’d like to join in, simply leave your best guess for the score in the comment section below using the boxes provided.
That’s where you’ll find my best guess for this one.
Up The Wolves!