Wolverhampton Wanderers: Opposition preview
Manchester United welcome Wolves to Old Trafford on Wednesday, for our third Emirates FA Cup clash with Nuno Espirito Santo’s men in the last 10 months.
Ahead of the match, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about our FA Cup opponents…
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Portuguese attacker Diogo Jota - who scored against United at Molineux when Wolves eliminated the Reds from the FA Cup last season - misses out again. Meanwhile, youngster Morgan Gibbs-White could return for the visitors, having been out of action through injury since Wolves’ Europa League win against Slovan Bratislava in October. He was an used substitute in their 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday, but may feature at Old Trafford. One man who won’t be available, however, is long-term absentee Willy Boly, who is still recovering from a broken fibula.
The Midlanders are enjoying a second consecutive season in the Premier League and currently sit seventh in the table. Having qualified for the Europa League last season, they - like United - have progressed to the knockout stages of the competition. Last time out, Wolves were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle in the league - their fourth game in a row without a win in all competitions. Since last month’s 3-2 win against Manchester City, in which they came back from two goals down, Wolves have drawn with United in the cup and lost to both Liverpool and Watford in the Premier League.
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Wolves have proved to be something of a bogey team for United since their return to the Premier League and we’ve failed to beat them in our past five meetings. We have to go back to 2012 to find the Reds’ last win over Wolves, an emphatic 5-0 success at Molineux, thanks to goals from Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez (2). However, historically United have the upper-hand on Wednesday's opponents, having beaten them 48 times in 103 games, with Wolves winning 36 and there being 19 draws. In the FA Cup, the sides have met 10 times, with United winning four, losing three and drawing three. Interestingly, this week's encounter will also be our second-ever FA Cup match against Wolves at Old Trafford - the last came in 1949 and finished 1-1. Therefore, United could make history on Wednesday, by registering our first-ever home FA Cup victory against Wolves.
Nuno Espirito Santo has been in charge of the visitors since 2017 and guided them to the Championship title in his first season. The former Porto and Valencia manager was voted LMA Championship Manager of the Year that season and, in September 2018, he claimed the Premier League Manager-of-the-Month award. During his maiden campaign in the English top flight, Nuno guided Wolves to seventh in the table, the same position they currently occupy in 2019/20.
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Mexican striker Raul Jimenez has been vital to Wolves’ success in the last two years and has scored 17 goals in 34 matches across all competitions this season, as well as registering nine assists. The former Benfica man was also on target last season when Wolves eliminated United from the FA Cup, and netted four times in the competition as they progressed to the semi-final stage.
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