Erik ten Hag begins his second season at Old Trafford against a manager who has only been in place for a few days. Here’s our Manchester United vs Wolves prediction and preview.
Manchester United vs Wolves: Quick Stats
- Manchester United are favourites to start the 2023-24 campaign with a win, with the Opta supercomputer giving them 52.4% chance of victory.
- Manchester United are unbeaten at home in the Premier League since the opening day of last season, having won 15 and drawn three at Old Trafford since then.
- Wolves have not won any of their last eight Premier League away games, losing six of them and drawing two.
After a promising first campaign as Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag will be looking to push on and get his team even closer to Manchester City and Arsenal in 2023-24.
He has brought in Mason Mount, André Onana and Rasmus Højlund and we can therefore expect United to be moulded further into the Dutch coach’s image this season, and their development will be fascinating the see as the campaign goes on.
Visiting Old Trafford on Monday will be Wolverhampton Wanderers, who comparatively could not be less prepared for the start of the season. Julen Lopetegui left the club earlier this week and was replaced by Gary O’Neil, who hasn’t had much time to even learn his players’ names, let alone be expected to get them fully ready to play Manchester United.
Heading into the opening weekend, only Chelsea have won as many opening Premier League games as Man Utd (20), although the Manchester club have lost their first outing in two of the last three seasons. They will take heart from the fact that three of the last four occasions when they have had their first game on a Monday, United have gone on to win the title (1907-08, 2010-11 and 2012-13).
Wolves have lost their opening league game in each of the last two seasons, last doing so in three consecutive campaigns between 1988-89 and 1990-91.
The stats would seem to point to a Manchester United victory, with Ten Hag’s side conceding fewer home goals than any other side in the Premier League last season (10), while only Nottingham Forest (11) scored fewer away from home than Wolves (12).
Bruno Fernandes will be looking to carry his form from the end of last season into this one, having scored in each of his last three appearances for his club in all competitions. He hasn’t scored in four consecutive games since November 2020. That said, he has never scored against Wolves in six appearances against them, with only West Ham (10 games) keeping him out more often.
Højlund will not play on Monday as he continues to recover from a back injury, but Mount and Onana should make their bows. Wolves boss O’Neill is hopeful that Matheus Cunha will be fit despite missing a couple of days of training.
Manchester United vs Wolves Head-to-Head
Manchester United have lost just one of their last 12 home league games against Wolves (W8 D3), when they were beaten 1-0 in January 2022.
Having gone unbeaten in their first four Premier League meetings with United following promotion back to the Premier League in 2018 (W1 D3), Wolves have now lost five of their last six against them. United won both meetings last season, a Marcus Rashford goal giving them a 1-0 win at Molineux on New Year’s Eve before Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho sealed a 2-0 win at Old Trafford in May.
Manchester United had a mixed pre-season, beating the likes of Lyon and Arsenal, before losing to Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Two final warm-up games last weekend saw them beat Lens and draw with Athletic Club.
They ended last season with four wins to clinch third place in the Premier League, and also boast a strong home record. Since losing to Brighton on the opening weekend last season, United are unbeaten in their last 18 league home games (W15 D3), conceding just eight goals. They have won their last six in a row at Old Trafford, having not had a longer streak since May-November 2017 (8).
Wolves won four of their last nine Premier League games last season, though all of those wins came at home. Away from Molineux is a different story altogether. They are winless in their last eight league away games (D2 L6), losing the last four in a row by an aggregate score of 15-1. It is their longest losing run on the road since their return to the top-flight, last losing more consecutively in the competition between September-December 2011 (6).
They did go unbeaten in pre-season (W3 D2) but obviously that was under a previous manager. Who knows what the O’Neil era will bring for them?
Manchester United vs Wolves Prediction
Erik ten Hag’s men go into this as big favourites, with the Opta supercomputer handing them a 52.4% chance of opening their season with a victory. Wolves have been assigned a 20.4% likelihood of giving Gary O’Neil a dream start to life at the club.
That leaves a 27.2% chance of a draw, which means the supercomputer does think Wolves have an almost 50-50 chance of coming away with something at least.