Wolves vs Manchester United Prediction
Saturday 31st December 2022
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Where Can I Watch Wolves vs Manchester United?
Sky Sports (UK, NI, CI, IoM)
Wolves vs Manchester United Prediction Match Overview
Wolves will be bitterly disappointed in how their campaign has progressed thus far, but in all honesty the warning signs were there at the end of last season. Their final 10 games of the 21/22 campaign was akin to relegation form, and when combined with the opening 15 games of the 22/23 campaign reads won:4 drawn:6 lost:15 for a total of 18 points, or 0.72 points per game. This represents relegation form in anybody’s book, so for Wolves to take a priceless three points away at Everton was a huge relief and a welcome step towards salvaging their campaign. Though they have had their successes against Manchester United in the recent past, this Manchester United team is starting to show some consistency and Wolves will know they will need to be much better to gain a result here, even on home turf.
Manchester United enjoyed a relatively comfortable return to Premier League action in a routine 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest which featured standout performances from Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford. With 29 points from their last 13 matches, the Manchester side have firmly established themselves as contenders for a Champions League spot, although they will admittedly face much stiffer opposition than Forest were able to muster in midweek. A win here will see United leapfrog Tottenham into fourth place having both played 16 matches. With the daunting prospect of back-to-back fixtures against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City and current league leaders Arsenal (though United are responsible for their only defeat thus far), you have to feel that this fixture and the following match at Old Trafford against Bournemouth constitute must-win affairs.
Wolves vs Manchester United Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Jonny, Podence, Traore (Wolves); Lindelof, McTominay, Martinez (Manchester United)
Will Not Play: Chiquinho, Kalajdzic, Neto (Wolves); Sancho, Tuanzebe (Manchester United)
Wolves (4-3-3): Jose Sa; Rayan Aït-Nouri, Nathan Collins, Max Kilman, Nelson Semedo; Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Matheus Nunes; Goncalo Guedes, Daniel Podence, Diego Costa
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen; Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Antony; Anthony Martial
Wolves vs Manchester United Prediction Analysis
Wolves Must Stay Compact
There’s no kind way to say this – Wolves do not score many goals. They averaged just 1 goal per game last season and they’re averaging a paltry 0.625 this season. It therefore stands to reason that if they try to play front-foot, expansive football to get ahead in the game that not only will this tactic likely backfire because Manchester United possess a number of quick forwards and good playmaking midfielders, it will also result in them needing to possibly score twice or more to get something out of the game and that’s just not something we believe they are regularly capable of. Of course, anything can happen in football, one of football’s appeals is in its high variance from match to match, but you have to play the probabilities and the best chance for Wolves to succeed in this match is to batten down the hatches, so to speak and look to win the ball back in and around the edge of their final third and look to catch Manchester United players out of position. It could be said that Nottingham Forest, despite performing poorly, did create a few good chances of their own so although low-block football is often pilloried in the modern age, most serious observers would advocate its use here. Wolves aren’t a terrible team, but with the form they have been in this campaign, to play their normal counter-pressing, high-energy game would probably be disastrous here.
United Must Be Patient
This is the sort of game in which patient, probing attacks will be rewarded, as opposed to a deluge of risky passes and hopeful crosses into the area. That approach would certainly play into Wolves’ hands as Manchester United do not have a traditional number 9 at their disposal to use as a target man. Their objective should be to retain possession and look to pull the Wolves defensive block out of shape. Intuitively, this also means that they can’t slow the tempo too much and make extraneous passes in the middle of the pitch, as although they have improved their percentage ratio this season, United are generally better-suited to a more direct style of play. United can draw confidence from their performance against Forest last time out in one crucial respect here – their midfield pairing of Eriksen and Casemiro dovetailed beautifully, with both players superb in both their passing accuracy and selection without compromising the team’s shape. Fernandes is more of a wild card and it’s unlikely that Ten Hag will expect the Portuguese to play with more discipline lest his men become overly-predictable.
Beat the Bookmaker Wolves vs Manchester United Prediction
Despite an excellent result away to Everton, this is an altogether different challenge that we expect Manchester United to pass through relatively untested. We don’t expect a rout, and at times the variety of football could be uneasy on the eye as Wolves look to make the pitch smaller and allow United space in more benign areas of the pitch. Eventually, we feel that Wolves will make enough mistakes or they will be undone by a moment of inspiration here and there that they will find themselves behind and without the attacking weapons to haul themselves back into the match. For their part, their best chance of a goal lies in a counter-attack or a set-piece.
Wolves 0-2 Manchester United
Beat the Bookmaker Wolves vs Manchester United Prediction – Fulham to Win Odds:
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