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Match Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Manchester United

After maintaining their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa, Manchester United will look to at least do the same and set a new club record in the process this afternoon as they visit struggling Wolves.

United produced one of their better performances of the season on Tuesday at Old Trafford, thanks in no small part to Wayne Rooney, who struck inside the first minute, added a second shortly before halftime, and assisted on Nemanja Vidic’s finely taken second-half strike that all but sealed the deal.

If Tuesday’s performance was the beginning of a long-awaited scoring run from Rooney, we could finally start to see the goals we’ve been craving this season. Of course, cautious optimism is a must with Rooney, but when the confidence is flowing, it’s far easier for the goals and assists to as well. And if Rooney starts hitting that highest gear at just the right time, it bodes well for United as a whole being able to find that consistency in being able to perform well both home and away.

With a win today, United would set a new club record for most consecutive league games unbeaten with 30, surpassing the mark that was initially set from December 1998-September 1999 and equaled on Tuesday.

It’s getting to be desperation time for Wolves, who enter today at the foot of the Premier League table with just 21 points, three points behind 17th-placed Birmingham City, who have a game in hand. Mick McCarthy’s side has lost three consecutive league matches and was dumped out of the FA Cup last weekend at home to Stoke City. On Wednesday at Bolton, Wolves let a point slip away in the late moments in rather disastrous fashion, with Daniel Sturridge pouncing on an ill-advised back pass by Ronald Zubar to score the match-winner on his Trotters debut.

Still, despite the home side’s struggles and lowly league position, the last thing United can afford to do is take them lightly. Wolves have home wins over Manchester City and Chelsea, and they also stunned Liverpool at Anfield in late December, a result that no doubt helped hasten Roy Hodgson’s ‘departure’ (all’s well that ends well there, it seems?).

On top of that, Wolves put a real scare into United at Old Trafford in November, with United needing some late Park Ji-Sung heroics to escape with a 2-1 win.

Park won’t be in the mix for United today, as he’s still resting up from his month-long excursion with South Korea. Park also scored in United’s 3-2 Carling Cup win over Wolves in October, so Wolves will likely be glad to be able to avoid him today. Rafael could be set to return to his starting slot at right back after sitting out the last two matches due to a concussion suffered at Blackpool. Outside of that, there aren’t any injury concerns other than those who’ve not featured for United in some time.

With their attack currently firing on no cylinders – Wolves have failed to score in their last three matches, the home side will amp up their defensive responsibilities to avoid finding themselves in a hole like Villa did. This certainly doesn’t project as an easy encounter, but it’s one from which United should be able to claim the three points without the same cardiac displays that have been a hallmark of this season’s ventures away from Old Trafford.

Prediction: 2-0 United

664 Comments

664 Comments

  1. Grognard

    February 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    @johnsom33: Sounds to me that you are a bit resentful mate. Don’t blame me cause i’m beautiful. 😀 😀 Also, don’t you dare ever question my credentials because trust me, my background and experience would make you piss yourself in envy. And that’s not bragging mate, thats a fact. The fact I don’t talk about my credentials openly is because I want to keep my privacy intact. So stop feeling insecure and threatened because somebody is in a position to talk down to you. I don’t talk down to you but I could. I don’t because I respect you and consider you very intelligent. But mate, trust me, you are not in my intellectual league. Again that is not conceit or arrogance, that is fact. So stop trying to shame me or embarrass me in order to make yourself look smarter and tougher. I for one am not impressed by your mission and pursuit. If it makes you feel better by calling me an idiot or insane etc, by all means do so. I really don’t care because I know who I am and I know what i have accomplished and you don’t. Have a nice day mate and please, for the sake of our online friendship, please get off my back. I’m not entirely sure of what you are trying to accomplish here other than piss me off? 🙂

  2. johnsom33

    February 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    new post up, lets migrate over there…

  3. Owen

    February 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    @RMJ: Grog does but then even he suffered the same response.ALSO he never continued and never told us to use LOGIC for anything.Do fans really need logic?Fans are emotional and they have right to use any illogical sentence in support of their club.
    Do you really want us to support some one who says Fergie is the worst tactician world has ever seen? 😯

    Also i don’t have any other club to support.I had some emotions for Ipswich as Keano was there but shit,he also got axed.Now i think i should support Sunderland to get top 7 finish as Brucey is there?Do i ?

  4. Grognard

    February 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    @RMJ: Mate go back a year and read all the stuff I wrote to back up my claims. The fact that I cannotbe bothered to write up these long rants again and rehash everything has more to do with boredom and a lack of interest than anything. If you never read them back then, then why should i bother now. You snooze, you lose mate. I am more than secure in my position and I have nobody to answer to. Ask TonyMontana or Onkar about what i have written. They echo a lot of what i have written already. They will back me up because they commented many times on my old rants. Soryy mate, I cannot be bothered because truthfully, I want the debate on this blog to go into a different direction. So take the hint. 🙂

  5. johnsom33

    February 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    @Grognard: great back it up. what am I threatened about? I have bested you numerous times in debates. again you say “trust me” whhy the fuck would I trust someone who is too scared to post his real name so he can be added on facebook? What are you trying to hide grog? Why dont you lay your credentials on the table for all to see? then maybe I will trust you. until then please put up or shut up. Even if you want to keep your privacy intact then atleast start backing up your claims with evidence, not emotional pleas for respect.

  6. Grognard

    February 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    @Owen: Problem is he speaks of logic as if he has some. He doesn’t. And yes you are right, this has more to do with passion and than logic. Passion and commitment, passion and allegiance.

  7. johnsom33

    February 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    @Grognard: “Mate go back a year and read all the stuff I wrote to back up my claims.” Ive been here the entire time and I have never seen your so called backed up claims. funny grog that 3 peoples who are calling you out. Maybe its time you were bothered to go back and repost those things.

  8. Moscow is my heaven

    February 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    @johnsom33: Rio and Vidic. Take one of them outta the backline and you’ll suddenly find those ’17 teams’ will start to agree with me. How many times has our character in attack saved our defenders asses? Remember when Liverpool suddenly made their way back into a game we were cruising? Berba comes to save the show. I’m not saying go out and make a marquee signing (we can’t afford to anyway), but our defence is NOT as solid as they come, and there appears to be a lack of versatility in replacing Rio or Vidic in the line-up should one become suspended or injured. We have been torn to shreds away from Old Trafford, the only place where teams still actually crawl back in their shell against us, and the defence enjoys a nice stroll in the park. Rio was shitting his pants against Wolves, and he knew his abscence would cost us dear.

  9. Grognard

    February 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    @johnsom33: Fergie is wiser but you are missing one major point here mate. What is this blog other than a forum for people like you and me to give our impressions or suggest our solutions to problems to do with the club. None of us are ax expert in this as Fergie but does that mean we must never give our opinions. My opinion, and that is all it ever was is that the club needs to get rid of a lot of dead weight and replenish itself with some real quality. It matters not if i’m right or wrong. It matters that I give my opinion and that you give yours. We don’t have to agree, thus the term debate. Why have you lost sight of this basic concept. Now I’m supposed to shut up and never give my opinion because Fergie is smarter? I don’t think so.

    And further more, if I had a say, I’d sell or cut EVDS, Pig, Neville (he did me a favour by retiring), Evans, Evra, Scholes, Gibson, Anderson, Park, Owen, Carrick, Welbeck, Obertan and a few more kids that are not progressing in the reserves. All these players offer something but for me they are either too old or not good enough. And by not good enough I mean, not United quality. But again, it’s just my opinion. I thought that this blog was for just that, our opinions. And please stop throwing my age and experience in my face in a mocking fashion. Stop being an insecure little boy who rebels against his elders and feel free in the knowledge that you don’t have to go all defensive on me because I have always taken you for a very intelligent person who can debate me on equal terms…..even if I am older, wiser and infinitely more brilliant than you. 😉 😉 😉 😛 😛

  10. tonymontanna4united

    February 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    @johnsom33: “Occasionally we do go into the transfer market for mature players,” insisted Ferguson. “[Dimitar] Berbatov was 27 when he came to us but you have to ask yourself if when a 27-year-old fulfils his contract for five years he will have little resale value.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/apr/09/sir-alex-ferguson-manchester-united-transfer

    I also remember i listened to a recording done by MUST when they were grilling gill about the finances of the club and other such matters, and he went into detail about how we decided after berbatov we wanted to go out and look for young players who we could then sell on in the future if fergie decided, for a profit. Dunno where the hell it is now, think i bookmarked it on my old computer, ill try and have a look for it as its definitely worth a listen.

  11. Jay wire

    February 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    @ Moscow- “if your idea of promising talent is Bebe,Gibson and Obertan, you need medication.”

    How about, Rafael, Fabio,Chicha,Welbeck, Macheda,Cleverly,Smalling, Pogba. As for the likes of Bebe, what exactly has he done to warrant the hate that comes his way? When playing for the reserves, he has been largely impressive. For the first team he has hardly played an aggregate of 100min the whole season. What can you expect, when Chicharito can’t even buy himself a starting berth? I think it makes no sense to judge such a player, especially given the circumstances he came under and the adjustments necessary.

  12. Moscow is my heaven

    February 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    @Jay wire: Hernandez’s substitute performances have been very effective. Nearly all of his disappointing performances have come from being in the starting XI. We play the football that suits him in the 2nd half of the game, and his pace and quick wit is enough to overwhelm opponent fatigue in the latter stages. He is our next Solkjaer. Very natural finisher, but if you notice he always passes backwards EVERY TIME, that is because he wants to get forward as quickly as possible. Very different from Rooney and Berbatov, whose more creative style the rest of the players are accustomed to.

  13. Jay wire

    February 11, 2011 at 12:06 am

    @ Johnsom33- thanx for the link. I only have one problem with it. The Guardian. They never seem to speak the truth. The problem is I don’t see any single quote from even a source within the club(usually means journalist writing the article) or from David Gill. I’ve really searched for it and there’s nothing.

  14. Spizzy

    February 11, 2011 at 7:16 am

    @Jay wire: Actually David Gill said that when he also said we would stop buying old players. I actually remember watching that interview.

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