Scholes to tame the Wolves
Wolves v Man Utd
13:30 - live on Sky Sports 1
Man United tasted European disappointment for the second time this season and so all their attention will now turn to the Premier League as they attempt to salvage a trophy for the season. Ironically Man United also faced Wolves after getting knocked out of the Champions League and a repeat of the 4-1 is sure to put a hint of a smile back on Sir Alex's face.
Wolves (8/1) have looked like a club on the slide all season and the managerial change at Molineux has done little to change the clubs fortunes. They have been playing terribly and you struggle to see where they will be able to pick up enough points to stave of relegation. They have gone eight home games without a victory and the manor of the defeats has seen them lose six straight in a feeble manor.
Wolves have some injury doubts to key players, including Jamie O'Hara, who has the battling qualities that they will need if they are to get out of the mess they currently find themselves in. They can take some hope from the fact that they registered a 2-1 victory over the Red Devils here last year (20/1 to happen again) which sent them to their first league defeat of the season. Kevin Doyle netted the winner then and is 11/1 to score first/last and 4/1 to net at anytime and will have to put in a monster effort alongside Steven Fletcher (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 Anytime) if they are going to find the net often enough to win. Maybe the total lack of expectation on them will help them take something from the game.
In contrast to Wolves shocking home form is the Red Devils (4/11, Draw 7/2) impressive domestic away form. Man Utd are unbeaten in their last eight fixtures away from Old Trafford giving them the best away record in the top flight. They also have the incentive of moving four points clear in the title race and really ramping the pressure up on their city counterparts who aren't in action until Wednesday. The Red Devils are used to this situation and it's very hard to see past them.
There will inevitably be a few changes as Sir Alex rotates his pack ready for the run in. I would expect Paul Scholes (15/2 First/Last, 9/4 Anytime) and Javier Hernandez (10/3 First/Last, 4/5 Anytime) to be brought back into the fold after spending the entire time in Bilbao on the bench. Alongside Wayne Rooney (5/2 First/Last, 4/7 Anytime) and Ashley Young (5/1 First/Last, 5/4 Anytime) the visitors should have enough fire power to put another dent in Wolves survival hopes. They should be able to find the net at will and another 4-1 score line looks appealing at 16/1 as does Man Utd -1 on the handicap at 17/20.
On the Stats front the way Man Utd can attack and Wolves can defend I would make over 2.5 goals a banker even at a rather short 1/2. Although I don't expect there will be a dirty game I think a few 'tactical' fouls to break up Man Utd attacks will be in store and so 35-55 booking points at 2/1 would be the pick there.
On the balance of things I would expect Man Utd to run away with this by a convincing score line and lay down a marker ahead of Man City's tough trip to Stamford Bridge. There should be plenty of goals in store and ultimately this should go with form.
Man Utd -1 @ 17/20
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1/2
Worth a Punt:
Paul Scholes First Goal @ 15/2
Man Utd 4-1 @ 16/1