Football Previews

Wolves v Man Utd preview, predictions & how everyone thinks each team will line up

By Chris Smith

Published: 18:32, 1 April 2019

Manchester United travel to Molineux on Tuesday to face Wolves for the second time in under a month.

The Premier League meeting as a repeat of March’s FA Cup quarter-final clash between the two and a chance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to exact revenge for a 2-1 defeat last time out – a result which fired Nuno Espirito Santo’s men into a first semi-final since 1998.

Man Utd bounced back from that shock defeat by seeing off Watford 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday in Solskjaer’s first game since taking permanent charge of the club.

Wolves, meanwhile, suffered a disappointing 2-0 away defeat against Burnley, meaning they’re now only ahead of Leicester City on goal difference in the race for seventh place.

With United locked in a four-way battle for Champions League places and Wolves in what could turn out to be anything up to an eight-way battle to be ‘best of the rest’, the stakes will be high at Old Trafford.

Read on for Wolves v Man Utd TV channel info, stats, predicted XIs and team news.

When is Wolves v Man Utd?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Molineux

Date: Tuesday, April 2

Kick-off: 7.45 PM BST

Where can I watch the match live?

UK residents can watch Wolves v Man Utd on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, channels 401 and 402 respectively on Sky and channels 511 and 512 respectively for Virgin Media users.

How has Solskjaer handled Zidane’s Pogba comments?

Paul Pogba spread fear into the Man Utd fanbase last month by calling the prospect of playing under Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid a ‘dream’.

Zidane then responded by admitting he liked his fellow Frenchman ‘a lot’ at the weekend, causing the rumour mill to go into overdrive regarding a potential summer transfer.

However, Solskjaer has moved quickly to dampen speculation surrounding his talisman, insisting Pogba is ‘happy’ at Man Utd and was just ‘being polite’ with his Zidane comments.

“Paul is a very nice and polite man who then answered a general question on Zidane, who is an icon in France, a fantastic manager and used to be a fantastic player and he’s just politely answered that question,” said Solskjaer.

“But Paul’s happy here, he’s going be a big part here and you like to build your team round him and that hasn’t changed at all.”

Should Wolves fans worry about Espirito Santo’s future?

It’s no secret that Wolves have been one of the most eye-catching newly-promoted teams of the recent Premier League era and with a squad laced with star talent such as Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota, that doesn’t look set to change soon.

However, one thing that has been rumoured to change in the summer is the man occupying the dugout, with reports suggesting Espirito Santo could replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, with the Italian coming under intense scrutiny from fans and pundits alike recently.

However, Espirito Santo has moved to reassure the Wolves fanbase, declaring his ‘total focus’ for the Molineux job.

Asked if he is happy at Wolves, the Portuguese answered: “I consider myself a happy person, yes. Yes [I am happy in my job], with the problems and difficulties involved, but at the same time it is a moment of joy. I have total dedication to what I must do and what we must do to keep on becoming better and growing. I am focused.”

How everyone thinks Wolves and Man Utd will line up

1. Tunnel vision from Espirito Santo

One of the biggest headaches for Wolves’ Portuguese boss heading into this clash is whether or not to rotate his squad ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Watford this weekend.

Should Wolves fail to win the FA Cup and Man City take the crown, the seventh spot in the Premier League which they currently occupy would become a Europa League spot, meaning their league form cannot afford to falter.

The Evening Standard believe this is exactly what Espirito Santo will be thinking, too, with their predicted line-up containing star names such as Ruben Neves, Raul Jiminez and Diogo Jota.

Evening Standard’s predicted Wolves XI: Rui Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Traore, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jimenez, Jota

2. Starting returns for Lindelof and Lingard

Victor Lindelof missed United’s 2-1 win over Watford after his partner gave birth during the international break, while Jesse Lingard had to settle for a place on the bench as he continued his comeback from injury.

However, Goal believe both will return, replacing Phil Jones and Juan Mata, respectively, while Martial could retain his place in what Solskjaer may well believe is his strongest line-up, despite hobbling off late on against Watford at the weekend after taking a knock.

3. R&R for Wolves

The Evening Standard may be predicting a full-strength line-up from Espirito Santo, but we here at Squawka believe he will definitely see Sunday’s clash with Watford as the priority.

Wolves haven’t been to a domestic cup final since winning the 1980 League Cup and this is a huge chance for them to at least reach a long-awaited final.

For that reason alone, we expect the likes of Joao Moutinho, Jonny and Willy Boly to take a hard-earned rest on Tuesday to keep them safe for their Wembley date.

Squawka’s Wolves predicted XI: Rui Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Bennett; Costa, Dendoncker, Neves, Gibbs-White, Vinagre; Jimenez, Jota

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This will be the third time Wolves and Man Utd have locked horns this season, with the Red Devils yet to overcome their Midlands counterparts this term. Then under Jose Mourinho, United laboured to a 1-1 draw with Wolves at Old Trafford in September, while they suffered the aforementioned 2-1 FA Cup defeat last month.

Historically, the two sides are much closer than one would expect, too, with Wolves managing 35 wins to United’s 48.

Man Utd wins: 48 Draws: 17 Wolves wins: 35

Team news

Espirito Santo will have a full squad to pick from on Tuesday with no injuries to worry about and Ryan Bennett returning from suspension. It remains to be seen whether the Portuguese will rotate his squad ahead of Wolves’ FA Cup semi-final with Watford at the weekend.

For United, right-backs Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia both missed out at the weekend, while Alexis Sanchez (knee) remains injured. Anthony Martial took a knock late on against Watford and will be assessed.

Wolves predicted XI: Rui Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Bennett; Costa, Dendoncker, Neves, Gibbs-White, Vinagre; Jimenez, Jota

Man Utd XI: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial

Squawka prediction

Man Utd may have had their struggles against Wolves this season but a combination of their strong recent form and their hosts having one eye on a landmark semi-final should tip the scales in their favour… even if it still remains a close affair. Wolves 1-2 Man Utd.


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