England Premier League
Monday 3rd January 2022
Kick off at 5:30pm GMT
Venue: Old Trafford
Even though Ralf Rangnick has yet to lose as manager of Manchester United the media were about to sharpen the knives before the Burnley game as United were not putting in the performances one would have expected from a club with a new manager. Questions were being asked if anything had indeed changed? True the club had kept two clean sheets recently but had also not had to play a top six side. Then the Newcastle game arrived, a team who has just one victory so far this season were on their way to beating Rangnick’s side before Edinson Cavani stepped in and earned a point. So everything turned to the Burnley game, a poor side this season, United at home, surely 3 points was a given? United had to work hard but did run out 3-1 winners and Cristiano Ronaldo who had been quiet the past few weeks also got on the score sheet.
Question marks will still remain but fans will be happy that a United led side with Rangnick in charge finally scored more than 1 goal in a game. The club gets the advantage to remain at home for their first match of the year in front of their own fans and will be seen as the favourites to win this game.
Recent form is very good with 13 points earned from their last 15 and the club are in seventh place, that clearly isn’t where they want to be. However United have 2 games extra over 4th placed Arsenal and would in theory go three points ahead of the Gunners with victories, they are all big ifs and of couse West Ham and Tottenham also stand in United’s way. One thing is for sure it will be quite a dramatic finish for 4th place this season.
Overall United’s home form isn’t great as they have witnessed 3 defeats here however let’s concentrate on the now and the club have won their last 3 at home with victories over Burnley, Crystal Palace and Arsenal. Because Tottenham do not play again for another two weeks a win over Wolves would see United go above them and into sixth place.
Wolves a position behind Manchester United but there is a six point gap and it is interesting to see how a gap in points has now developed from 7th to 8th and beyond. Bruno Lage’s team have shown a lot of quality this season and they come into this encounter undefeated in their last two games. A 0-0 draw against Chelsea followed a 1-0 win at Brighton so there could be a confident mood in the Wolves camp.
Wolves away form is actually better than their home form and they have picked up 14 points from a possible 27. But recent away form has been a struggle for the club- yes they did beat Brighton in their last trip but had managed just 2 points from their last 12 on offer on the road.
Manchester United: Eric Bailly is unavailable as he is on international duty. Victor Lindelof is in line to make a comeback for this game after being ill. Paul Pogba is expected to miss another game with his on going thigh injury.
Wolves: Rayan Ait-Nouri is being tipped to return for this game and will be assessed. Fabio Silva could return after illness, Romain Saiss is on international duty. Pedro Neto, Yerson Mosquera and Hwang Hee-Chan are all out until February. Jonny looks set to miss out again with his knee but is expected back in two weeks time.
Man Utd vs Wolves Head to Head:
Last season Manchester United won this fixture 1-0.
It’s been 8 games since Wolves recorded a win over Manchester United and the club have not won at Old Trafford for 42 years.
There is an 80% chance to see under 2.5 goals.
Man Utd vs Wolves Prediction:
It should be noted that this will be Wolves’ first game since December 19th as they have been hit hard by Covid-19 and the rescheduling of matches. Some would argue this can play in the hands of teams to have a two week rest but that isn’t always the case and players can come back to competitive football quite rusty.
This is a fixture that we know immediately that United have a great record in, the win over Burnley here would have reinforced the club also. But this is also Rangnick and we have quickly seen that he believes the problem for the club is not so much in attack but in defence. That has been shored up somewhat but it means that we may not see a United side who are freely getting 3-4 goals week in and week out. Add that the history of these fixtures usually produces few goals and that Wolves are a very decent outfit we expect to see a close score line. We feel this could be a tough encounter for Man Utd, and the +1 asian handicap on Wolves looks good value considering they would have to lose by two goals for the bet to lose.
Man Utd vs Wolves Betting Tips:
Asian handicap (+1.0 Wolves) at 1.85
Under 2.5 goals at 1.80
Anytime goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo at 2.00