Wolves would have benefitted from playing at least one of those games over Christmas.
You can’t second guess the Premier League but Watford at home was a great opportunity to gather more points and reach halfway with a commanding tally.
After that was cancelled, a tough assignment at Arsenal would have been made a bit easier by the strain a 48-hour turnaround would have placed on their squad.
When those fixtures come around again they might not feel so presentable.
It seems as if this one is happening and a visit to Old Trafford is a grand way to kick-off 2022.
Happy New Year by the way.
The results haven’t been too bad for Ralf Rangnick so far (3 wins and a draw) but the performances have remained stodgy.
The top 4 is still a realistic objective but they will have to improve to keep pace with the likes of Arsenal, West Ham and Spurs who all look more cohesive outfits at present.
They have individual quality but finding the right blend and style for the group remains a problem. It will be interesting to see if they try to solve that problem by entering the market in January.
Ronaldo has come in and scored plenty of goals but contributions from Fernandes, Rashford, Cavani, Greenwood and Sancho have been spotty, partly because of injuries and partly due to none of them holding down a consistent place in the side.
But it’s in midfield where they seem to have issues due to a chronic lack of options beyond the familiar combination of Fred and McTominay. They were linked with Ruben Neves in the summer and if that deal was there to be done it was madness they didn’t follow through.
Aside from Paul Pogba, they have a full-strength squad to choose from so will fancy their chances of collecting another win here to extend their unbeaten run in the league to seven matches.
The home end
I found the following on a pre-match thread for tomorrow’s game on a popular Utd forum.
Wolves gave us a real test earlier in the season Utd very fortunate to get the 1-0 victory thanks to a Greenwood goal from memory Trincao caused us loads of problems but wasted his chances. Havent seen much of Wolves this season but their games are normally low scoring they’ve scored 13 let in 14 in their 18 games so far so they’ll be a very tough side to break down.
For Utd it’ll be the 3rd game in 8 days so I’m expecting some rotation.
Dalot Varane Maguire Shaw
Greenwood McTominay Fred Sancho
Can’t see Matic and Cavani starting back to back games I think we need the width to try and stretch Wolves across the pitch like we did vs Burnley try and create some pockets of space for Bruno.
My only worry is the lack of target in the air up top it’ll be difficult for us to be as direct as we were vs Burnley as Ronaldo is not a back to goal target man which means bringing the ball up the pitch with short passes which we are not good at.
We don’t know who tested positive prior to Arsenal and we don’t know who is and isn’t available tomorrow.
Hopefully we see something like the above to give us the best possible chance of getting a result.
Hoever came in and did well against Chelsea but I think Semedo should be back in for this one. He’s improved considerably as this season has progressed.
Can we score a goal? Utd certainly haven’t been air tight defensively so you’d hope Traore might expose some frailties if he’s in the side and afforded the opportunities to do his thing.
Last time out
It was heartbreak last season with Marcus Rashford winning it with the last kick of the game after we’d defended manfully and given them very little.
Earlier this season we were again unfortunate to lose by the odd goal after playing well and creating lots of chances but ultimately getting punished for not taking them. There was a foul on Ruben Neves in the build-up to their goal so we can rightly feel we’re perhaps due a bit of luck in this fixture.
Well done to Sea Pigeon, BG, Prawny and Cannock Wolf who all correctly predicted a goalless draw with Chelsea last time out. All collect a maximum.
Cannock Wolf takes over at the top of the overall table at the end of Gameweek 18.
As always, if you’d like to join in, it’s simple – just leave your prediction in the comment section below using the boxes provided. Then repeat for every preview article throughout the season, making sure you always use the same email address to make your prediction. Your email is what ties you to your overall score.
You can read my prediction for the game in the comment section below.
Up The Wolves!
Polite request – when commenting in the preview article after the game has finished, can you not place score predictions in the boxes, please? It confuses the system. Many thanks.