Manchester United’s Premier League campaign for the 2023/24 season is set to commence on Monday as they host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in the opening match.
Erik ten Hag is preparing for his second season as the manager of United, having enjoyed a successful debut season.
During his first year in charge, the Dutch manager ended United’s six-year wait for a league title by securing the League Cup in February. Additionally, he guided the team back to the Champions League after a year of absence.
Our 2023/24 #PL campaign begins at Old Trafford 🔜#MUFC || #MUNWOL
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 10, 2023
With an active transfer window, the Red Devils have significantly strengthened various positions in the squad, aiming to compete for the Premier League title once again.
The anticipation for the upcoming season is high, as the club aspires to secure their first Premier League title since 2013.
United have made significant changes to their squad during the transfer window, including bringing in Andre Onana to replace long-standing goalkeeper David de Gea. The team has also welcomed skilled midfielder Mason Mount and Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund.
Under the leadership of their newly appointed captain, Bruno Fernandes, the club aims for a stronger start to the season, in contrast to the previous year when they faced consecutive defeats at the beginning.
The upcoming match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford seems advantageous, as Wolves have historically struggled in the Premier League and their recruitment efforts have been relatively underwhelming.
The recently appointed Wolves manager, Gary O’Neil, takes over from underperforming Julen Lopetegui. O’Neil’s initial task is to improve Wolves’ goal-scoring record, which has fallen short of a 40-goal mark in the past three league campaigns.
Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Current Form
Man United concluded the previous season on a positive note, securing four consecutive wins in the Premier League. Among these victories was a 1-0 triumph against Bournemouth, managed by Gary O’Neil, in their final away league match.
A notable achievement during Ten Hag’s debut season was establishing a strong defensive unit. The team conceded a mere 43 goals, ranking third in the league for the least goals conceded. Only Manchester City and Newcastle United had better defensive records.
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Nonetheless, lacking a dedicated striker led to significant attacking struggles for United, resulting in them scoring only 58 goals, a figure only surpassed by Aston Villa’s 51 among the European competition-qualifying teams.
While the acquisition of Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta offers a potential solution for the long term, the 20-year-old’s minor fitness concern directs the spotlight once again onto Marcus Rashford, much like the previous season.
During the 2022/23 campaign, Rashford played a pivotal role, contributing to 38% of United’s Premier League goals (22 out of 58). Impressively, he netted 17 goals and provided five assists in what marked his most prolific senior season.
In contrast to United’s impressive late-season performance, Wolvers concluded their campaign on a less triumphant note, experiencing a lacklustre finish by failing to secure a victory in three consecutive Premier League matches (D1, L2).
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Wolves should prepare for another underwhelming outcome, given that they have failed to score in three out of their previous four Premier League matches at Old Trafford.
Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Team News
In addition to the previously mentioned Hojlund, United manager Ten Hag can expect the rest of his squad to be fit and available for the opening fixture.
Similarly, Wolvers will arrive in Manchester with a complete squad after successfully avoiding Napoli’s pursuit of their captain Max Kilman.
📋 Our provisional squad numbers for 2023/24 have been confirmed.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 10, 2023
Possible Manchester United Starting XI:
(4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen; Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, Antony; Marcus Rashford.
Likely Wolverhampton Wanderers Starting XI:
(4-3-3): Sa; Ait-Nouri, Dawson, Max Kilman, Nelson Semedo; Mario Lemina, Matheus Nunes, Hodge; Pedro Neto, Matheus Cunha, Pablo Sarabia.
Our Final Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Despite their unbeaten record in all five pre-season matches (3 wins, 2 draws), Wolves are unlikely to pose a significant challenge at Old Trafford.
Last season, United proved too strong on their home turf, securing an impressive 15 victories out of 19 league matches at the Theatre of Dreams (3 draws, 1 loss).
This could be another easy win for the Red Devils and we expect Marcus Rashford to score the first goal for Ten Hag’s side.