Wolverhampton Wanderers – Manchester United: Second Stringers Fire Blanks As United Cannot Overcome Molineux Makutu (0-0)
Both sides struggled to make ends meet in their regular shapes, most likely down to necessary personnel changes following a hectic winter schedule. Second half reinforcements only did so much to invigorate an affair which had overseen very few chances.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter Munnely.
A loss at Watford left a sour taste in the mouths of Wolves fans as their start to 2020 was not nearly as satisfying as their form to see out 2019. Looking to make amends, but also remaining sensible in his team selection following these three closely-scheduled festive fixtures, manager Nuno Espírito Santo made quite a few changes.
These included goalkeeper Rui Patrício, central defender Ryan Bennett, wing-back Jonny Otto, central midfielder João Moutinho and center forward Raúl Jiménez dropping to the bench. To make room for the five changes, Romain Saïss moved into midfield and Leander Dendoncker dropped down to the right side of the back three. Elsewhere, John Ruddy featured between the posts, Max Kilman and Rúben Vinagre joined the defense, Rúben Neves replaced his Portuguese counterpart in midfield, and Benny Ashley-Seal took charge of the striker spot.
United also suffered defeat on New Year’s Day, away at Arsenal. The side fielded here was quite different, too, with only Daniel James, Nemanja Matić, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf keeping hold of their places in the side.
The 4-2-3-1 shape remained the same but the attack started with Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial, and their defense was absent of the usual fullback pairing of Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan . . .