Down The Wings

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Match Preview : Manchester United vs Wolves

Manchester United vs Wolves, Down The wings, Premier League

Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Since their last Premier League game, Manchester United have had somewhat of an up and down period of time. Many fans have begun to turn against the owners more than ever, with a supposed walk out happening on Saturday as The Red Devils play host to Wolves. However, with the acquisition of Bruno Fernandes, and a 1-0 victory over Manchester City (although a defeat in the tie overall), things don’t look as bad for the club as they might’ve done, had things not gone their way.

With that being said, United’s inconsistent league form, and the fact they have only beaten Wolves once in six attempts in all competitions, following the away side’s return to the top flight in 2018.

How do Manchester United look?

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had no new injuries to report during his press conference on Friday morning. However, due to Nemanja Matic’s red card in mid-week against City, he will be unavailable, leaving a gaping hole in United’s defensive midfield area.

With that being said, the exciting prospect of seeing Bruno Fernandes in the starting line-up far overshadows the loss of Matic. With regards to Bruno, Solskjaer teased fans that he will be involved, and may even start, saying “He’s fit enough to play and he’ll be involved definitely”, adding “He’s had of course a few hectic days now and even with his little daughter’s three-year birthday yesterday, so I don’t know how much he will be involved, but he’s in the squad.”

Apart from Bruno, it is unlikely that any new/ surprise additions will be added into Saturday’s matchday squad, with no injured players looking to be returning any time soon.

Opposition: Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Wolves have proven to be a true bogey team for United in recent years, The Reds having failed to win in five attempts, before finally winning in the FA Cup third-round replay in a few weeks ago.  Nuno Espirito Santo sets his side up in an attack-minded three back formation, with wingbacks offering wide, attacking support going forwards, whilst being able to tuck in to make a five back when defending.

The key man for Wolves is their man of the moment, Adama Traore. His pace, power and strength make him a constant threat to the opposition, with his direct runs causing defences up and down the country big problems.

Key Stats

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The man to focus on in this game will undoubtedly be Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder managed 33 goal involvements (20 goals and 13 assists) in 33 Premeira Liga games last season, making him a vital addition to this Manchester United squad. It is unlikely that he will replicate these numbers in the much tougher Premier League, but he will definitely offer so much more to the United squad than is currently available.

As mentioned previously, last time out against Wolves, United won in the FA Cup, with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a cool, calm Juan Mata finish following a perfectly timed through ball from Anthony Martial.

The walkout…

It wouldn’t be right to preview this weekend’s game without talking about what is going on off the pitch at Manchester United. There is a lot of talk online of fans walking out of Old Trafford on the 58th or 68th minute during this weekend’s match. This, of course, is an extension of the protests against Ed Woodward and the Glazers’ way of running the club.

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It is the closest game to the 62nd anniversary of the Munich air disaster, so leaving the game in the 58th minute (’58 being the year of the disaster) may be ill-judged, and the Busby Babes deserve some recognition, in the usual form of applause.

Those choosing to partake in the walkout should, therefore, leave the game at a different time, which has been suggested to be the 68th minute, which would make more sense. This way, the Busby Babes will have the respect paid to them, but the fans protesting will also be able to deliver their message to the world.

Prediction

Manchester United 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers, with goals from Anthony Martial, and the debuting Bruno Fernandes.

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