4-3-3: Man United can beat Wolves at their own game with this starting XI

Manchester United travel to the Molineux Stadium on Monday night for something of a ‘bogey contest’ with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost both games away to Wolves last season – one in the league and one in the FA Cup quarter-final – in a very similar fashion: by being outpaced by a more energetic team.

How Man United fare against them this time around well tell the world plenty about just how meaningful that 4-0 win over Chelsea really was.

Here is how Solskjaer will most likely line up for the meeting with Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.

This is, as you may have noticed, the same XI which turned out against Chelsea, only set up slightly differently.

Andreas Pereira, like he did with Jorginho, needs to stay very close to Ruben Neves, starving him of space and allowing for Jesse Lingard to carry the ball into the final third with pace.

Pressing needs to be at the forefront of United’s approach. Even the full-backs must put pressure on their oppositie numbers, whose long diagonal switch pass is a key element of Wolves’ play.

And Paul Pogba, who looked lost against Wolves last season, simply must dictate the pace of the game. Without this, Wolves will start to find their groove.

Picture gallery: Man United players looking sharp in 3rd kit for 2019-20 season

Manchester United players have been pictured sporting the club’s new third kit for the 2019-20 season.

Last season saw Man United sport a fashionable pink alternative strip, which was eerily reminiscent of what Juventus wore during the 2015-16 campaign.

United kicked off pre-season this year by sporting a cream-coloured strip which was, in the spirit of our times, made out of environmentally friendly materials.

Here are some photos of Scott McTominay, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial modelling the new strip, which could be on display for United’s trip to Southampton on August 31.

Solskjaer expects this midfielder to have ‘big season’ at Man United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Fred to have a ‘big season’ at Manchester United following a quiet debut campaign at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian, who moved to Old Trafford for £52.4m from Shakhtar Donetsk last year, found himself ostracised by Jose Mourinho and only played sporadically under Solskjaer.

That said, his performances towards the end of last season, particularly against Paris Saint-Germain in March, served as encouragement of more things to come.

Speaking during Friday’s press conference, Solskjaer made a point of claiming that he expected big things from Fred this season.

United did not sign a midfielder over the summer, but if Fred reaches a higher level of performance, that alone will feel like an injection of something fresh.

While question marks remain over his physicality and propensity to lose the ball in key areas, Fred is a player who – unlike, say, Ander Herrera or Scott McTominay – can play those short precise passes up the pitch which break defensive lines and set up United for the counterattacks.

He is a nimble, technically gifted player, but one who will need to develop some nous if he is to make a genuine long-term impact under Solskjaer.

Solskjaer explains why Alexis will not leave Man United this month

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez will not leave Manchester United this month amid reported interest from Italy.

The 30-year-old has dramatically failed to impress at Old Trafford, scoring just five goals in 45 appearances, and was reportedly set to be banished to the reserves by Solskjaer.

A host of Serie A clubs such as Juventus, Napoli, Roma and Inter Milan have voiced their interest in signing Sanchez this summer.

Speaking at Friday’s press conference, the Norwegian made it clear that, due to United’s limited options in attack, Sanchez would not be sold anywhere this month.

There is also the simple fact that no club, aside from some in China, would be willing to pay the ridiculously high wages – thought to be anywhere between £300,000 and £600,000 a week, depending on what you read – of an injury-prone 30-year-old completely shot of confidence.

So, Solskjaer is stuck with him. He may have spoken about him fondly in public but, privately, the manager will feel that Sanchez does not fit his long-term vision.

United fans often forget that they have a No.7, and that his name is Alexis Sanchez, former Barcelona and Arsenal superstar. That notion in itself should be the player’s motivation this season. People have stopped taking him seriously.

Man United to give star player contract until 2025, will earn £150,000 a week: report

Manchester United plan to offer Victor Lindelof a bumper three-year contract which would keep him at the club until 2025, according to a report.

The Swede, who joined the club in 2017, has become an indispensable player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following an impressive 2018-19 campaign.

Solskjaer has stressed that, following the signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester City, one of his key aims is to ensure that United have a settled centre-back partnership.

And according to The Mirror, United have offered to double Lindelof’s wages with a deal which would add three years to his existing contract, keeping him at the club until 2025.

For all the talk of United’s central midfield, the most important thing to get right this season, before anything else, is that back four.

Ever since the days of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic (and Jonny Evans, god love him), United’s back four has chopped and changed, succeeded and failed, but never once has it looked settled, decided upon.

The consequence of a shaky foundation is, of course, a shaky performance – or at least an unpredictable one. By tying down both Lindelof and Maguire for six years, United are looking to address that.

4-2-3-1: Man United can break Wolves curse with this starting XI

It would not be an exaggeration to say that no team gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer more problems on a tactical level than Wolverhampton Wanderers last season.

Manchester United were beaten twice by Nuno Espirito Santo’s men at the Molineux in games which saw United’s defensive midfield surrender possession to a ruthless counter-attacking team.

Moreover, apart from a 20 minute period in game two, United failed to summon the zip and precision necessary to create meaningful chances against a team which was, quite frankly, superior to Man United.

With that in mind, here is a starting XI which would be best suited to take on Wolves this time around.

Firstly, Nemanja Matic needs to go. Wolves targeted the Serbian’s immobility at the base of midfield and penetrated key areas as a result, exposing United’s defence to the penetrative passing of Ruben Neves. Having Fred in that position gives United a better chance of beating Wolves’ press, with Paul Pogba orchestrating counter-attacking transitions slightly further forward.

Further forward, not much should change from Chelsea: the high pressing of Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard will stop Neves from having much time on the ball, which will, in turn, allow for United to use the ball in a more advanced position, as opposed to Matic holding the ball 70 yards from Wolves’ goal-line.

The meeting with a very dangerous Wolves side will act as a good barometer of just how well United players are taking to Solskjaer’s ideals.

Zinedine Zidane reveals his stance on signing Paul Pogba this month

Zinedine Zidane has played down talk of Real Madrid launching a bid for Paul Pogba before this month’s transfer deadline.

The Frenchman told reporters in June that he wanted a “new challenge” and recently admitted following Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Chelsea that there remained “question marks” over his future at Old Trafford.

His brother, Mathias Pogba, recently claimed that a move to the Bernabeu could still happen this month.

But Zidane, speaking at a press conference on Friday, made it clear that he was happy with the squad at his disposal.

Club president Florentino Perez has already made a number of key signings this summer, including Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, but Pogba has always been Zidane’s top target.

However, United are in a very strong position. The club expects Pogba to stay and would only consider letting him go if Real produced an offer of around £160m, which the La Liga side will not pay having already spent almost £300m this summer.

Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola both appear to be accepting of the fact that any move to Spain will need to happen next year.