New year is here and it is time for Manchester United to play their first match in 2022. The festive period is still happening, as Man United are about to play their third match in seven days. At the start of the new year, the Red Devils will host Wolverhampton Wanderers, as they are about to try and get closer to the fourth place in the league standings.
This year is a new chance for a new beginning of sorts, since previous several years have not brought any silverware. Whether this one will is not something we will know before May, but it is something the fans are definitely dreaming about.
Let’s see what we need to know about the first of many matches in 2022, the year that will hopefully bring more celebrations to everyone at Old Trafford.
Man United will be once again without a French duo of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial for this match. They are both still injured and will miss the Wolves match, but they will not be the only ones. Eric Bailly will also be sidelined, due to his slight injury scare against Burnley. It is not something that will keep him out of action for real, but Man United will not want to rush him, especially as the player is getting ready to go to the Africa Cup of Nations this month. Also, Man United will have Bruno Fernandes back in the team, as his yellow card suspension has been served in the last match.
As for Wolves, they have many more problems prior to this match. Six players will expectedly be out of contention. Pedro Neto and Jonny are the two players that are the closest to returning to action, but will still not be ready for this match. Rayan Ait-Nouri is havin groin problems, while Hwang Hee-chan, Yerson Mosquera and Willy Boly are all injured as well, making Bruno Lage’s job all the more difficult ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.
Man United’s form has been going on and off recently, as they have not won two consecutive matches since early December. The draws came against Young Boys in what feels like an eternity away, and against Newcastle last Monday. The wins against Crystal Palace and Norwich did not excite many, while the 3-1 win on the penultimate day of 2021 against Burnley finally brought a more interesting display from the Red Devils.
Wolves are in a much different situation. They are in eighth place in the standings, but with eight points less than the sixth placed United. They have won just one match in the past 40 days, against Brighton in mid-December. What is even more interesting is that gauging Wolves’ form is particularly hard since they have not played since 19 December, a 0-0 draw against Chelsea. Their following matches were all postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak and this will not only be their first match this year, but also their first match in 15 days. In their last five games, apart from Brighton and Chelsea, Wolves also played against Burnley (0-0) and Liverpool and Man City (both 0-1 losses).
We predict Manchester United will win 1-0 on Monday night, as Wolves are known for playing matches in which not many chances occur on both sides of the pitch. That might be the case here as well, but Ralf Rangnick’s side could beat them similarly to how Liverpool and City managed to do.