Manchester United kick off their Premier League campaign against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Monday night.
The Red Devils have splashed the cash on Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount and Andre Onana this summer, though the former won’t be available to make his debut as he nurses a pre-existing injury from his time at Atalanta.
Wolves, meanwhile, had their world rocked just two days before the start of the Premier League season, when the club mutually parted ways with manager Julen Lopetegui. The Spaniard felt his position at the club was untenable because of broken promises in regards to transfers, and it’s now the job of Gary O’Neil to take the club forward.
He was appointed as Wolves’ new head coach pretty soon after having impressed as Bournemouth boss last season.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the final match of gameweek one.
Man Utd vs Wolves H2H Record (Last Five Games)
TV channel/live stream
Sky Sports Main Event Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Ultra HDR
USA Network, Fubo, DirecTV Stream, Sling Blue, Universo, Sling Latino
Manchester United’s pre-season started off well, with victories over Leeds United, Lyon and Arsenal, but defeats to Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and a draw with Athletic Club suggests there’s plenty of work for Erik ten Hag to do on the training pitch.
One major change for the Dutchman this season is in goal, with Andre Onana replacing the long-serving David de Gea between the sticks. He’ll make his competitive debut here, with the same likely to be said for Mason Mount.
Marcus Rashford, scorer of 30 goals in all competitions last season, may need to start the game centrally despite Jadon Sancho featuring in a false nine role over the summer. That may hand a start to Alejandro Garnacho on the left – the Argentine handed a new five-year contract to reward his scintillating breakthrough.
Man Utd predicted lineup vs Wolves (4-3-3): Onana; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Fernandes, Mount; Antony, Rashford, Garnacho
READ 90MIN’S SEASON PREVIEWS ACROSS THE PREMIER LEAGUE : A-F
Wolves’ summer has been turbulent to say the least. In addition to losing Lopetegui 48 hours before the season’s start, the club have also lost a number of prominent first team players, most notably Ruben Neves.
The Portuguese midfielder has headed for the riches of Saudi Arabia, and he’s been joined through the exit door by Joao Moutinho, Raul Jimenez, Conor Coady and Adama Traore among others – players who were staple figures in the team assembled by Nuno Espirito Santo upon the club’s promotion to the Premier League.
Matheus Cunha’s arrival on a permanent basis is a boost, and he’ll be tasked with firing in the goals for a Wolves side who will work incredibly hard under O’Neil and will likely play attractive along the way.
Wolves predicted lineup vs Man Utd (4-3-3): Sa; Semedo, Kilman, Dawson, Ait-Nouri; Nunes, Lemina, Gomes; Sarabia, Cunha, Neto
Last season’s encounter at Old Trafford ended in a 2-0 victory for United, when goals from Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho saw off a Wolves side devoid of any real quality. The highlight of the game for the visitors was the performance of debutant goalkeeper Dan Bentley, though it’s possible Jose Sa will be back between the sticks after falling out of favour.
United are overwhelming favourites to start the season well, despite their indifferent pre-season results, and the absence of Hojlund up front shouldn’t derail their progress in any way as he’s yet to feature in any capacity.
Rashford is a real goal threat and captain Bruno Fernandes tends to shine in the early weeks of the season. Wolves will be gritty and hard to break down but United should have enough about them.