Manchester United and the Wolverhampton Wanderers are currently tied for fifth place in the Premier League with 34 points apiece. Both clubs are after a spot in the Champions League next season, and they are six points behind Chelsea for that spot. We are almost two-thirds of the way through the Premier League season, so each team is running out of time to make up that ground. That makes getting three points on Saturday a big deal for both squads.
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- Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Date and Time: February 1, 2020, 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
- US Television Coverage: NBC
- Betting Line: Manchester United PK and -0.5 vs. Wolverhampton, O/U 2 and 2.5
It appeared that Manchester United was turning the corner at the end of 2019. The Red Devils went 5-3-1 in a nine-match stretch between early November and late December, picking up huge victories against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City during that stretch.
Unfortunately, Manchester United have not been able to keep that momentum going into the new year. The Red Devils have lost three of their last four matches, and all three of those defeats have been by a final score of 2-0. Losses at the hands of Arsenal and Liverpool are one thing, but the most recent loss to Burnley in Old Trafford spells trouble and may lead to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being sacked.
Wolverhampton had the misfortune of playing Liverpool twice in the last month, but the Wolves are done with the soon-to-be league champions for the rest of the season. They have won just one time in the last five games, overcoming a 2-0 first half deficit to beat Southampton 3-2 away from home, and unlike last year they haven’t had much success against Big Six clubs in 2019-20.
When these teams met at the Molineux earlier in the season, the result was a 1-1 draw. Manchester United’s Anthony Martial broke open the scoring in the 27th minute, but Ruben Neves leveled in the 55th minute to secure a draw for Wolves.
Manchester United will be without at least six players on Saturday, including their two biggest stars. Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba are out for at least the next two weeks, and Marcos Rojo, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, and Axel Tuanzebe won’t return until mid-February as well. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is questionable to play too.
Wolves have just one player listed on the injury report. Ruben Vinagre is out with a thigh injury, and it’s unclear on when he will be cleared to take the pitch once more.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Player to Watch
Raul Jimenez has been superb for Wolves once again this Premier League season. Jimenez was phenomenal on loan from Benfica last season, and he has been even better this campaign. The forward led Wolves with 13 goals last year, and he has found the back of the net 11 times in 24 matches this year. His scoring is instrumental as this team is built from the back, so he often creates something out of nothing.
Manchester United Player to Watch
Without Rashford on the pitch, the Red Devils need Martial to come through in a big way. Martial is the second leading scorer on Manchester United with eight goals this campaign, and he has scored four times in the last six games.
Wolverhampton is the play here. Manchester United might be at home, but Old Trafford isn’t the home it once was, and the Red Devils are without many of their stars.
English Premier League Prediction: Manchester United 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
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