The FA Cup returns this weekend and Manchester United are seeking to get their first win of the year against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. Usually the stronger side in the tournament, the Red Devil lost to Wolves 2-1 in last year’s quarterfinals.
Despite only securing two wins in the last six Premier League matches, Wolves remain in seventh place on the domestic table, one point behind fifth-place United. Regarding the FA Cup, Wolves remain unbeaten at home in the last four contests, having won their last three. In short, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are going to have to give one of their best performances of the season against Nuno Espirito’s side.
Speaking of United, the Red Devils are likely still gutted following Wednesday’s disappointing loss to Arsenal in the Premier League. Coming off back-to-back wins against Newcastle United and Burnley during December’s festive fixtures, United are increasingly frustrating to watch because at the root of their problems lie an inconsistent squad riddled with injuries.
Wolves vs. United Game Details & Betting Odds
- Date: Saturday, January 4
- Time: 12:31 p.m. EST
- Location: Molineux Stadium
- TV: ESPN+, ESPN app
Wolverhampton vs. Manchester United Odds
To win in regular time:
- Wolverhampton: +115
- Manchester United: +225
- Wolverhampton: -125
- Manchester United: -110
*All odds are courtesy of Bovada.
Wolverhampton vs. Manchester United Prediction & Pick
United have proven they can be unpredictable at times, but against stronger opposition in games that matter, they tend to come out victorious. They surrendered to Watford in a frustrating manner in December, yet managed to collect all three points in top-flight competition against Tottenham Hotspur and cross-town rivals Manchester City. With a run of difficult matches that await them this month, United’s determination to start the year strong will contribute to a difficult, but achievable 1-0 victory on Saturday.
The defense was outclassed by Arsenal’s attacking unit in the New Year’s Day meltdown, so it’s probable that Solskjaer will maintain a strong defensive front after putting a comfortable goal through to open the scoring. United have failed to win the last four times they’ve played against the team from the Midlands, but the 12-time Cup winners play their best when under copious amounts of pressure and Saturday is another season-defining moment for the once-indomitable club.
Given the strengths and weaknesses discussed about both sides, I still believe United are the team to beat on Saturday. In his pre-match conference Friday morning, Solskjaer confirmed that Academy darling Mason Greenwood will play at the Molineux, which should delight fans anxious to see the youngster earn more first-team minutes. At just 18 years of age, the Englishman has impressed each time he’s taken the pitch, even scoring a late equalizer against Everton in the Premier League last month after coming on as a substitute.
With the January transfer window officially open, United’s upcoming results can either determine whether their season will be a success or if they’re heading for another completed campaign without silverware. Not to mention, questions will undoubtedly loom regarding who is the right manager to lead this squad back to winning ways. It may only be the third round of the FA Cup, but Saturday’s result will determine how serious Manchester United is about long-term rebuilding.
Pick: United +225
Prediction: Wolves 0, Man United 1