Daniel James

Team news: James starts against Wolves

Monday 19 August 2019 19:02

Daniel James makes his first competitive start for Manchester United against Wolves tonight as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes just one change from the team that beat Chelsea on the opening day.

James came off the bench against the Blues last weekend to net a memorable debut goal and he impressed enough to lead to Ole bringing him in from the start at Molineux, in place of Andreas Pereira.

Indeed, the Wales international will be hoping to get his name on the scoresheet for a second successive match and grab a goal away from home for the first time in his professional career. According to Opta, all five of his league strikes to date have come at home (4 for Swansea and one for United).

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On opting to put James in from the start, Ole told MUTV: "Well, he’s been impressive all pre-season, ever since he came into the club. We feel that tonight might be the game for him. Obviously, he’ll give us the X-Factor of his pace and penetration in behind, so we’ll try to stretch Wolves a little bit. We know how difficult it is to come here and get three points, so we’ll have to be on top of our game."

All three summer signings – James, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka – are in the first XI to face Wolves as the Reds look to build on the resounding win over Chelsea at Old Trafford which yielded four goals and a clean sheet. Any kind of victory would put Ole’s men top of the table later.

Discussing the threat posed by Wolves, the United boss added: "They can hit you on the break and they can play with the ball as well. They have good strikers outside the box from set-pieces or volleys. They’re going to give us loads of difficult questions tonight that we’ll have to answer and we just have to be better than them. That’s the only way to be beat them, by being the better team.

"We’ve had a good week and had some good training. In the last few days we’ve done some tactical work and eased off. I don’t think we could be better prepared for a game than this. We’ve had so many times where we’ve had a game two days after another game, but today we’ve had seven days of training. We’re ready and it’s definitely not the preparation that will stop us tonight."

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Ole is certainly hoping for a change in fortunes at Molineux, saying: "It’s not a happy hunting ground for me to be honest. I’ve been here three times and have had three defeats. I was thinking of staying home tonight so the other lads can get us through the performance and points! We know Wolverhampton are a tough side and they maybe deserved more than that last season, coming seventh. I have to say they impressed me and they’ve started the season really well. They’re not going to concede many goals and we have to be clinical with our chances."

Confirmed line-ups

Wolves: Rui Patrício; Bennett, Coady (c), Boly, Doherty; Dendoncker, Neves, João Moutinho, Castro Otto; Jiménez, Jota.

 Ruddy, Lomba Neto, Cutrone, Gibbs-White, Saïss, Vinagre, Traoré.

United: De Gea (c); Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; James, Lingard, Rashford; Martial. 

Subs: Romero, Tuanzebe, Young, Mata, Matic, A.Pereira, Greenwood.

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