The Premier League is back this week and on Thursday night, Manchester United have a big game, one that is unlikely to be easy, away at Wolves (8.15pm). Can MUFC get their first EPL win in three games? Or will the hosts, WWFC, prove too tough? This match preview, with its betting tips, will clarify.
Under the astute leadership of summer appointment Gary O’Neil, Wolves continued moving in the right direction at the weekend. They got the better of Black Country rivals West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup, winning by two goals to nil. It was far from a vintage display, but the men in orange stood firm at the back before dusting the game with a few sprinkles of offensive quality courtesy of Pedro Neto and Matheus Cunha. Thursday’s hosts are now unbeaten in seven games in all competitions, which means that they will approach this fixture full of confidence.
The visitors also got the better of lower-league opposition in the FA Cup last time out, though their 4-2 win over League Two’s Newport County was both less impressive and less straightforward. After taking a two-goal lead during the first half, Erik ten Haag’s men appeared to be easing to victory, but they proceeded to make life tough for themselves, conceding twice, before eventually putting the game beyond reach of their fourth-tier hosts. Such a game will not have boosted confidence levels too much, nor will the fact that they are without a Premier League win in two games.
WWFC hard to beat at home
In general, Thursday’s hosts have been in a rather resilient mood, which is why they have gone seven games unbeaten in all competitions. At home, they are incredibly tough to get the better of, as an unbeaten run of nine games in all competitions suggests. On home soil, O’Neill’s men are without loss in eight Premier League games.
It is not as if the hosts have simply taken advantage of easy tasks at home either. During their eight-game unbeaten run at Molineux in the Premier League, they have beaten Chelsea, scoring two goals in the process. They have also beaten Tottenham, scoring two goals in that game too. Moreover, they have held both Newcastle and Aston Villa to draws, scoring multiple goals in one of those games too, so we really should not be surprised if they make life very tough for a Man Utd side that has been anything but strong on the road.
Man Utd away-day struggles
We’ve seen it for some time now, this is a Manchester United team that can absolutely be got at, while it is also a team that often struggles to hurt the opposition, especially on the road. Sure, they had no problem scoring a handful of goals against League Two’s Newport County last time out, but before that, away from home in the league, they floundered at Nottingham Forest, offering little in the offensive third, whilst also struggling to keep things tight at the back.
A lack of potency in attack is perhaps the biggest driving force behind Manchester United’s four-game winless run on the road. During that time, they have lost at Newcastle, drawn to Liverpool, lost to West Ham and lost to Nottingham Forest. They have conceded five goals during that spell and have scored just one. Therein lies the problem. Unless they can improve in terms of both chances created and goals scored on the road, then breaking into the top six is likely to be beyond them.
Recent history against hosts Wolves
Given the way they have played in recent times, the hosts will fancy themselves here, and rightly so. However, they do not exactly have the most encouraging recent record in this fixture. In fact, they have lost all but one of their last seven games against Manchester United, who beat Wolves both home and away last season, winning by a goal to nil at Molineux.
Hosts Wolves to have their say in this fixture
In the betting odds with the major bookmakers, the hosts are hard to oppose. The fact that we can get almost even-money on ‘Wolves Draw No Bet’, which gives us a refund in the event of a draw, seems a little generous.
We know just how sturdy O’Neil’s men have been at home and that’s hard to ignore. The hosts have beaten better teams than Manchester United at Molineux, without giving much away, which bodes well given the offensive struggles of the visitors.
Man Utd have clear attacking problems, especially on the road. They have scored just one goal in their last four away games in the Premier League and it’s as clear as day that they lack an out-and-out goal-getter. Their top scorer in the EPL this season is midfielder Scott McTominay, who isn’t even the most regular of starters. Regular forward starters such as Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund have scored just one goal between them in United’s last four away games.
In contrast, Wolves have produced no shortage of offensive quality at home in recent times, while they also have a much bigger pool of goalscorers, which is not to be ignored. They also now have Pedro Neto fit again, which gives them a huge boost, as we saw when the Portuguese winger scored in the cup last weekend.
An additional bet is ‘Wolves to Score Over 1.5 Goals’. This is just the sort of fixture that the hosts have enjoyed playing in at home this season, and given their scoring exploits against the likes of Newcastle, Spurs, Chelsea and Man City, they’re backed to get a couple of goals. After all, United’s defence hasn’t put up much resistance in recent times, allowing Forest, the Hammers and even Newport to score multiple goals. So the betting tips for this WWFC vs MUFC Premier League match preview are:
- Wolves Draw No Bet @ best odds of 10/11 with William Hill or Betfred.
- Wolves to Score Over 1.5 Goals (on the total home goals market) @ a biggest price of 13/10 with BetVictor.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.