Manchester United round off their Premier League campaign away at Wolves on Sunday, the Red Devils looking to maintain their excellent away record.
Here’s all you need to know about that trip to Molineux:
After having really impressed since their return to the top-flight in 2018, the current campaign has not quite been up to their usual high standards, the West Midlands side currently in 12th and 11 points off the top half of the table, following their 1-0 defeat to Everton on Wednesday.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men had finished seventh in both of the last two seasons and only narrowly missed out on a place in Europe last term, in a season in which they also reached the quarter-final’s of the Europa League.
Perhaps they are simply feeling the effects of two back-to-back hectic seasons, yet there is no denying there has been a noticeable drop off this term, albeit having been without star man Raul Jimenez since November.
The Mexican – who has netted 48 goals in 110 appearances for the club – suffered a fractured skull following a nasty collision with Arsenal’s David Luiz that ended his season, although recent reports have suggested he should be able return for the start of next term.
While the former Benfica man is set to return action for the 2021/22 campaign, it remains to be seen whether his manager will still be in the dugout, the Portuguese having been linked with the vacant managerial position at Tottenham Hotspur.
As for this weekend’s clash with United, Wolves remain without Jimenez, as well as fellow forward Pedro Neto.
Manchester United: LWLLD
Despite having secured a second-place finish behind Manchester City this week, it’s been something of a rough patch for the Red Devils of late, with just one win in their last five league games.
Since that victory over Aston Villa two weeks ago, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have dropped points in three consecutive games at Old Trafford, losing twice in the space of three days against Leicester and Liverpool, before slipping to a 1-1 draw with relegated Fulham on Tuesday night.
That latest disappointment saw the returning home support treated to a stunning, albeit controversial, long-range effort from Edinson Cavani on his first start in front of a home crowd, before a late Joe Bryan strike snatched an equaliser for Scott Parker’s spirited side.
Goal of the Season? 🤔
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 18, 2021
In truth, that has been the story of Manchester United‘s season at home, with all six of their league defeats having come at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, albeit while maintaining an exemplary away record that has seen them go unbeaten in their last 24 games on the road.
While they’ll be looking to extend that run this weekend, United will no doubt have their eye on Wednesday’s Europa League final clash with Villarreal, with Solskjaer looking for his first piece of silverware since taking charge in 2018.
Ahead of both those upcoming games, there are fitness doubts about Scott McTominay and Fred, both of whom picked up knocks in midweek, while Harry Maguire appears unlikely to feature again this season. In better news, Anthony Martial and Daniel James look set to return at the weekend.
Man Utd 1-0 Wolves, 29 December 2020
It was a typically hard-fought encounter when the two sides last met at the end of 2020, with United just about managing to snatch the win.
In truth, it was a fairly drab affair at Old Trafford, with a rare chance seeing Bruno Fernandes – who made his debut for the club in the same fixture the previous season – firing an effort straight at Rui Patricio.
The visitors twice went close through centre-back Roman Saiss, but to no avail, while United saw an Edinson Cavani goal correctly disallowed for offside.
With the game petering out for what seemed an inevitable draw, Solskjaer’s men managed to find a winner in the dying seconds, Marcus Rashford seeing his deflected effort end up in the back of the net, to take United just two points behind Liverpool at the summit.
Wolves: Patricio; Boly, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Marcal; Traore, Silva
Man United: Henderson; Williams, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Telles; Matic, Van de Beek; Rashford, Mata, James; Martial.
Who is the referee?
What channel is it on?
UK and Irish readers can watch the match on BT Sport.
What time is kick off?
Sunday 23 May, 16:00 BST
Wolves – 31/20
Man United – 17/10
Draw – 12/5