3 Key battles that could decide the outcome of Wolves vs Manchester United
Wolves welcome Manchester United to the Molineux on Monday night for their second game of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side drew 0-0 with Leicester City in their season opener at the King Power Stadium last weekend. Five matches into the season and having reached the Europa League qualifying round, the Portuguese tactician made nine changes in Thursday’s 4-0 win over Armenia’s Pyunik, giving four new signings their first Wolves start.
Manchester United, on the other hand, kicked off their 2019/20 Premier League campaign in the best way possible, running out 4-0 winners against Chelsea at Old Trafford last Sunday.
A clean sheet and solid debuts for all the new signings, it was a perfect start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he most certainly will not get carried away knowing who their next opponent is.
Wolves have won the last two meetings at home against United and come into the game after an impressive 4-0 win over FC Pyunik in the Europa League qualifying stages. However, United will be full of confidence, raring to make a statement to back their victory over Chelsea.
Let’s take a look at three key battles that could decide the outcome of this exciting contest.
1. Marcus Rashford vs Conor Coady
Marcus Rashford was excellent in the opening day success, scoring a brace against Chelsea. He was quick, direct and pounced at every opportunity to counter-attack and exploit the spaces left behind by the visitors.
The England international opened the scoring with a fantastic penalty before making it 3-0 with a calm finish off Paul Pogba’s exquisite long ball.
Rashford will probably line up against Wolves defender Conor Coady on Monday, which will be an important battle in the game. A leader of the team, Coady is a very good organiser of the backline and will look to keep the United forward at bay.
2. Raul Jimenez vs Harry Maguire
Raul Jimenez caused United a lot of problems in their last season’s visit to the Molineux. The Mexican was a real handful in the box, outmuscling the defenders with his strength and power. In fact, he had also netted in the 2-1 victory over the Red Devils in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The Wolves striker is likely to come up against United’s Harry Maguire. The Englishman has wasted no time in making his presence felt at United and gave an impressive display as the Red Devils recorded a clean sheet in their season opener.
He will be back in the heart of United’s defence for Monday’s night clash against Wolves as Solskjaer’s side aim to win all three points. Expect a mouthwatering battle between Jimenez and Maguire at the Molineux.
3. Paul Pogba vs Ruben Neves
Even though he was sloppy on occasions, Paul Pogba starred against Chelsea, bagging two assists. He made his presence felt when it mattered the most, with the floated long pass for Rashford’s second goal being the highlight of the victory.
However, the Frenchman has to be at his very best on Monday as he will come up against Ruben Neves, who has the ability to control games with his wide range of distribution. The Wolves midfielder should be tasked with nullifying Pogba’s influence in the final third, whilst recycling possession and creating chances for his teammates as well.
The Neves-Pogba battle in the midfield would be an interesting one to watch and one that could decide the outcome of the game.