Friday, March 31, 2023

Wolves game a must-win for Manchester United following dropped points by title rivals

Manchester United probably had the best reality check in the Premier League when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton last week.

Following a 5-1 drubbing of Leeds United on the opening day of the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed to have overestimated the quality of his team.

You don’t try to fix what’s not broken, remember? But the Norwegian manager threw that to the dogs and decided not only to change his starting line-up, but also to hand starts to players like Anthony Martial, who has been out of form for a while now.

The result of these illogical decisions was two points lost and an uninspiring performance at St Mary’s in a game that the Red Devils should have easily won.

Manchester United look to recover from Southampton disappointment

Solskjaer and his charges will be aiming to return to winning ways when they travel to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.

Last week’s performance against Southampton was completely below-par and the Reds cannot afford to repeat that again if they really want to challenge for the title.

Manchester United certainly have a better squad than Wolves and will go into the game as favorites. However, Wolves have always proved to be tough customers and won’t go down without a fight.

For Solskjaer, though, he has just one job: field his best XI. There is no need to keep Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane on the bench when they are fit and ready to improve the team.

Reds must take advantage of rivals’ dropped points

In a week where Chelsea and Liverpool both dropped points after a pulsating 1-1 draw at Anfield, it makes Manchester United’s upcoming game even more important.

The Reds currently trail their rivals by three points and a win over Wolves would send them level on points with the Blues and Jurgen Klopp’s side.

It is not even negotiable right now; Manchester United must win at all costs to keep themselves in the Premier League title race.

“When you have the disappointment of losing two points last week, you want a game straight away,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match conference, as quoted by Manutd.com.

“The start of the season has been a little bit different. Last year we had loads of games, this time a week in between. We’re training well, fit and ready.

“We’re still missing Scott who had surgery this week. Marcus, Alex, Dean Henderson, they’re not ready. But apart from that we have a fit squad ready to fight for points.”

The result of the game between Liverpool and Chelsea favors Manchester United and the Reds must now take advantage of their rivals’ dropped points by also winning against Wolves on Sunday.

Read Paul Merson’s exclusive Premier League predictions column! Click here for his latest article

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava


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