Manchester United vs Wolves Predicted Lineups: Is Raphael Varane Set to Return for Erik Ten Hag’s Side?

Manchester United vs Wolves Predicted Lineups: Is Raphael Varane Set to Return for Erik Ten Hag’s Side?
31st December 2022; Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England; Premier League Football, Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Manchester United; Anthony Martial of Manchester Utd competes for the ball with Matheus Nunes of Wolverhampton Wanderers - Photo by Icon sport

Manchester United are set to welcome Wolves to Old Trafford on Saturday for a rare 3 pm kick-off at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have played almost exclusively on Sundays all season due to their participation in the Europa League so will be excited by the prospect of a Saturday game.

The match is a big one for United, too, particularly after their last two results. After losing at the death to Brighton, they became unstuck against West Ham and the two defeats have allowed Liverpool to close the gap on them in the race to finish inside the top four. United are currently just one point ahead of Liverpool and know that anything other than a win on Saturday would be a disaster.

For Wolves, their work is done after managing to successfully steer themselves away from the relegation zone. Julen Lopetegui has done a fantastic job at Molineux after taking the job on when the club was rooted to the bottom of the table. They are now in 13th position, ten points clear of the relegation zone with just three games to play.

The match is set to kick off at 3 pm (UK time) but viewers in the United Kingdom will not be able to watch the match on television due to broadcasting laws.

Manchester United Team News: Marcus Rashford a serious injury doubt for the Red Devils

At his pre-match press conference before the game, Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag delivered the unexpected news that Marcus Rashford is “more than doubtful” for the game against Wolves. The England forward, who has netted 29 goals this season, has a problem with his leg and is a “big question mark” for Saturday.

It is unclear whether Rashford has picked up the injury in a recent game or in training but regardless, it’s a huge blow to a team who are struggling for goals. With Rashford out, Alejandro Garnacho could be trusted straight into first-team action after being an unused substitute against West Ham.

The Argentinian, who signed a long-term contract at the club recently, has only just returned from injury himself so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jadon Sancho get the nod over him from the start with Anthony Martial operating as the central striker.

It isn’t all doom and gloom for United fans, though. Ten Hag confirmed that star defender, Raphael Varane, is in line for his first start in seven games after recovering from injury. The Frenchman was forced off in the 2-2 draw with Sevilla last month and his return will be a huge boost to a team who still have so much to play for.

Wolves Team News: Diego Costa to lead the line at Old Trafford

Wolves boss, Julan Lopetegui, is set to continue with the same group of players that were available to him for the game against Aston Villa last weekend. Considering his side came out on top against an in-form Villa outfit, Lopetegui is expected to field an unchanged team for the trip to Manchester on Saturday afternoon.

In terms of injured players, Boubacar Traore has an outside chance of making the substitutes bench as he continues to build up his fitness after returning from a long-term injury. However, Chiquinho and Sasa Kalajdzic are both certain to miss the game and potentially the rest of the season, too with knee problems.

One area of the team that the Wolves boss may be tempted to change is on the wings. Adama Traore’s blistering pace could be a huge asset against a tired and depleted defence. However, Lopetegui is more likely to bring him on late on as an impact sub as he has for most of the season.

Up front, Diego Costa will start in what could be his final ever appearance at Old Trafford. The 34-year-old, who set the Premier League alight when he played for Chelsea, is expected to leave Wolves and English football this summer and return home to Brazil. Does he have one more big goal in his locker?

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