Wolves vs Manchester United betting tips: FA Cup preview & predictions

Wolves vs Manchester United prediction: Wolves 2-3 Manchester United

Wolves welcome Manchester United to Molineux for Saturday night’s FA Cup action.

It has been the venue of 15 matches between the sides in history, with them sharing 7 wins apiece here, as well as 1 draw.

The only FA Cup meeting between them, in the Midlands, was during the 2005/06 season. Goals by Louis Saha and a Kieran Richardson brace gave United a 0-3 win here, before their run was ended in the next round, by Liverpool.

The last time Wolves welcomed United here, during the 2011/12 Premier League season, saw them suffer a humiliating 0-5 defeat. A game in which Paul Pogba made 1 of only 3 appearances under Alex Ferguson, in the Premier League.

However, this Wolves side is arguably their strongest of the Premier League era and will be a much tougher test for United on Saturday. They held United to a point at Old Trafford and will believe they can go one better in front of their own fans.

Wolves vs Manchester United: Who will win?

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 29: Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates a goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux on January 29, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Wolves have won 5 of their last 6 matches at Molineux, in all competitions. Can they grab another win here as they aim to turn their home turf into a real fortress? They are 21/10 to eliminate one of the tournament favourites here.

These sides shared the points when they met in the league, earlier in the season, with a 1-1 draw. Will they need a replay to separate them? Odds of 23/10 are available if you see a stalemate on the cards once more.

The only two meetings between these teams in the FA Cup to date, have both ended with a United win. Can they make it 3 for 3 here? They are 13/10 favourites to see off Wolves at Molineux.

Wolves vs Manchester United: Who will score?

Bar chart showing the top goalscorers of both clubs (Premier League only) filtered on total goals scored (Orange Bar). Expected Goals per 90 (Charcoal) and Goals per 90 (Silver) are also shown. Click to Expand.

Bar chart showing the top goalscorers of both clubs (Premier League only) filtered on total goals scored (Orange Bar). Expected Goals per 90 (Charcoal) and Goals per 90 (Silver) are also shown. Click to Expand.

Raúl Jiménez is Wolves’ top-scorer this season with 14 goals in all competitions. He is in good form at the moment with 3 goals in his last 4 games. Can he keep it going with another here? He is 13/2 to score first. 11/5 to score at any time.

Matt Doherty is the FA Cup’s 5th top-scorer this season, with 3 goals. Can he continue his scoring form in this competition with another against Manchester United on Saturday? He is 18/1 to score first. 13/2 to score at any time.

Romelu Lukaku is United’s top-scorer this season with 15 goals in 38 appearances, in all competitions. He is on fire at the moment with 6 goals in his last 4 games. However, he has only 1 goal in the FA Cup this season. Can he bring his good scoring form into this competition? He is 13/2 to score first. 11/5 to score at any time.

Wolves vs Manchester United: Match preview

Graph showing the 5-game rolling average of Expected Goals For (xG) and Against (xGA) in the Premier League for United (Red) and Wolves (Yellow). Click to expand.

Graph showing the 5-game rolling average of Expected Goals For (xG) and Against (xGA) in the Premier League for United (Red) and Wolves (Yellow). Click to expand.

As we can see from the xG model above, on paper at least, these two sides are very evenly matched at the moment.

United’s xG per game spiked initially after Solskjær took charge. However, over the most recent 7 games, it has evened out once more to pre-Mourinho levels. This could be attributed to the “new manager bounce” effect wearing off.

However, it could also be as simple as more difficult opponents in this run of games. They have had to face Liverpool and Arsenal in the league in that time.

What is clear, is that how they defend and attack has changed in his time here.

They are regaining the ball in the opposition 3rd of the pitch 57% more under Solskjær. This leads sides to being able to complete passes within 20m of United’s goal 33% less.

In offence, they are attempting less crosses by almost a third. Instead, looking to penetrate down the sides using through balls and play around the box. Their through balls per 90 are up 133% from 1.0 to 2.3 per 90.

Interestingly, Wolves are the side most difficult to break down through the middle in the Premier League. This is likely due to the 3 central defenders and 3 central midfielders sides would need to play through in the middle.

Therefore, they face the most attacks from the wings, often down the opponents left wing. This being the side defended by the more attacking wing-back, Matt Doherty.

Will wing play be the key if the sides cancel each other out in the middle?

Wolves team news vs Manchester United

Nuno Espirito Santo

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Nuno Espirito Santo, the Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bristol City at Molineux on September 12, 2017 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Nuno Espírito Santo has a full squad to choose from here. This includes Ryan Bennett, who is serving a two match ban in the Premier League for accumulating 10 yellow cards. He is expected to replace Romain Saïss in central defence.

Should Nuno decide to beef up his midfield for this one, we may see Saïss move into midfield, with one of Ruben Neves or João Moutinho dropping to the bench.

John Ruddy has started in place of Rui Patrício in the cups so far this season. Nuno will need to decide whether to continue with him as their cup keeper here, or pick the best XI available.

Manchester United team news vs Wolves

Angel Di Maria

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 12: Angel Di Maria of PSG is tackled by Nemanja Matic of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on February 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia, Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez remain on the long-term injury list for United.

Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic both returned at the weekend to feature against Arsenal. They are both expected to feature here.

Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are also expected to return here. Although, they are likely to only be involved from the bench.

Sergio Romero is expected to start in goal as United’s cup goalkeeper.

Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly compete for a starting place at centre-back next to Lindelof.

Predicted Wolves team vs Manchester United

Predicted Wolves team vs Manchester United

Predicted Wolves team vs Manchester United

Predicted Manchester United team vs Wolves

Predicted Manchester United team vs Wolves

Predicted Manchester United team vs Wolves

The latest tweets from Wolves pre-Manchester United

The latest tweets from Manchester United pre-Wolves

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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