Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United Preview

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Image from MrFixitsTips
Manchester United play for a fifth away game out of their last six as they once again travel to the Molineux Stadium to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday. Here's all you need to know about the game:

Teams: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United
Location: Molineux Stadium
Kick Off: Tuesday 2nd April 19:45 GMT
Managers: Nuno Espirito Santo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Referee: Mike Dean

How have both teams fared recently:
It wasn't so long ago that Wolves kicked United out of the FA Cup after suffering a disappointing defeat against Arsenal six days before. Prior to those losses, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United had impeccable form in the league with ten wins and two draws as well as three FA Cup wins against Reading, Arsenal and Chelsea. United did make up for those losses on paper with a win against Watford at Old Trafford on the weekend, but the game was nothing to praise as it was a truly poor performance and United were lucky to get the win. Since the start of February, Wolves have stuttered in the league as they have only won twice in seven league games (W2 D3 L2) but have earned a creditable draw against Chelsea in early March. While United narrowly beat Watford, Burnley comfortably beat Wolves with a 90 second opener from Chris Wood and a driven shot from Dwight McNeil leaving Nuno Espirito Santo's side drawn for points with Leicester (admittedly with a game in hand on the Foxes) on 44 points. 

Interesting Stats:
Manchester United haven't kept a clean sheet in six games - since their goalless draw against Liverpool - conceding nine goals. 

Either Raul Jimenez or Diogo Jota have scored all Wolves' goals in their last six games with Jimenez scoring four and Jota notching two respectively. 

The last time Manchester United lost twice in a row against Wolverhampton Wanderers was in 1980, after losing 0-1 at home in February and 1-0 away in August of the same year. 

Team News:
Despite coming off for Marcos Rojo against Watford on Saturday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Anthony Martial is fit to play on Tuesday and fans will be relieved to know that 'Iceman' Victor Lindelof is also available to play after having some personal issues following the international break. However, United are still without Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Alexis Sanchez who remain sidelined with long term injuries. Eric Bailly may have started alongside Chris Smalling on Saturday had he not suffered an injury that will sideline him for the match against Wolves as well. Wolves are once again with a fully fit squad and have Ryan Bennett back after being suspended for the Quarter Finals tie against United before the international break. 

Team and Match Predictions:
Despite Lindelof being ready to play, Phil Jones had a very good game against Watford and may continue in a full-English back four of Young, Smalling, Jones and Shaw reducing the Swede to the bench at Molineux. Pogba may be deployed deeper against Wolves as Solskjaer suggested and may have Matic alongside him to make a very strong defensive two. Mata did very well against Watford as he linked play and created a fair few chances for Rashford and Martial to take and all three should remain in the lineup on Tuesday. The final position could be three positions: Victor Lindelof could come into a back three to match with Wolves' 5-3-2, Lukaku could come in to make a 4-2-3-1 formation and a strong, physical striker to compete with Willy Boly and Connor Coady or Ander Herrera could remain in the lineup in a diamond formation with three deep midfielders and Mata pressing Neves. I think Solskjaer will field Lukaku as either the striker or right winger and Rashford positioned in the reverse choice to create many chances and break through the Wolves' defence earlier than 95 minutes in.

United will aim for revenge and try to score early on and put Wolves to the sword. Wolves themselves have bigger fish to fry with the semi-final coming up on Sunday and may rest a few players as a result, nevertheless this is not a write-off game and United will have to be substantially better than they were on Saturday and certainly better than they were in the FA Cup Quarter Finals. I think the attacking prowess United have will be enough on the day and Wolves won't be able to handle it. 

Predicted Lineup: De Gea, Young (c), Smalling, Jones, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Lukaku, Martial, Rashford

PREDICTED SCORE: 1-3 to United


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