Manchester United is set to welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Old Trafford on Saturday in a must-win match.
This encounter is a must-win for Manchester United if they intend to keep their hopes alive in the race for Premier League top four.
After United lost to Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham United, they are being chased down by rivals Liverpool.
Liverpool are just a point behind United in fifth position and they also have a goal in hand to play which is an advantage for them.
Julen Lopetegui’s team ensured their top-flight safety at the weekend but could prove a tricky oponnent at the Theatre of Dreams.
Wolves were in relegation zone the last time Manchester United visited them at the Molineux on New Year’s Eve, but they have garnered 27 points in 2023 to steer well clear of the drop.
Most of these performance under their manager Lopetegui has come whenever Wolves were at their home ground.
A David de Gea error directly led to a goal against Man United for the fourth time in all competitions this season as United fell to their second successive 1-0 loss at the London Stadium.
As Manchester City and Arsenal have occupied the top spot on the EPL table, the best United can get is a third-placed finish and FA Cup glory.
The Red Devils have an extremely encouraging 27-game unbeaten streak at Old Trafford in all tournaments since Real Sociedad’s 1-0 Europa League success in September.
And United boss, Erik Ten Hag, have managed to keep five successive Premier League clean sheets on home soil, and have managed to concede a league-low eight goals at the Theatre of Dreams all season.
Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui hailed Premier League survival as his most important achievement in football after last weekend’s derby success.
This is the same manager that his CV boasts of Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla – winning the Europa League with the latter.
Toti’s ninth-minute header against Aston Villa did the magic for Wolves after subsequent efforts to break down the staunch Lopetegui backline proved futile.
That ensured that Wolves hit the expected 40-point mark and guaranteed a spot in the big time for 2023-24 in the process.
Julen Lopetegui’s men are currently ten points clear of the danger zone with just three games remaining, and 13th-placed Wolves will be breathing a sign of relief.
Wolves are lucky to have confirmed their survival prior to trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates but away games always pose an issue to them.
Man United’s start to 2022 was made miserable by Wolves after they won the Red Devils 1-0 at Old Trafford last January but United revenged at Molineux on New Year’s Eve with the same scoreline.
Manchester United V Wolves Team News
Alejandro Garnacho was an unused sub in Manchester United loss to West Ham last weekend and this weekend he might not feature following his return from ankle injury.
Ten Hag is likely to remain without his six known absentees despite movement in the Man United infirmary.
Lisandro Martinez (foot), Phil Jones (knee), Tom Heaton (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee) are still sidelined while Raphael Varane (ankle) and Scott McTominay (knock) could return within the next few weeks.
Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst will not also feature in the match which will force Ten Hag to consider a recall for Garnacho or Jadon Sancho to a wide position.
And with this, Marcus Rashford will spearhead the charge as he looks to score at Old Trafford for the 20th time this season.
Rashford has only scored two goals so far from his last nine Premier League outings for United.
Wolves on the other hand, Lopetegui will also expect to be working with the same crop of players from the win over Villa.
Boubacar Traore will continue to build up his match fitness while Chiquinho and Sasa Kalajdzic continue to rehabilitate from long-term knee issues.
Toti cemented his start for Wolves at the left-back ahead of Rayan Ait-Nouri and Hugo Bueno while Raul Jimenez is still fighting his way back to the starting line-up.
Lopetegui may also be tempted to give run-outs to fringe players with survival now confirmed.
Also, the visiting boss would maybe stick with his tried-and-tested formula for such a daunting fixture this weekend, where Diego Costa will come face-to-face with the Red Devils’ depleted backline.
Manchester United V Wolves Probable Lineup
Manchester United probable starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Dalot; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford
Wolverhampton Wanderers probable starting lineup:
Sa; Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Toti; Neto, Neves, Lemina, Nunes; Costa, Cunha
Manchester United have often been near-impenetrable in front of their own fans.
Wolves will be expected to show a drop in performance, but with nothing but pride on the line, the misfiring hosts may once again be restricted to just the one goal.
Manchester United just need to win this match to secure their top 4 finish, but Wolves may not leave it easy for them.
For us at Futballnews, given their previous meetings, the match could go either ways, it could be a 1-0 win in favor of United or a 0-1 in favor of Wolves.