Who would have thought that Wolverhampton Wanderers would be the team that Manchester United had the most trouble with last season, with the Red Devils failing to beat them in any competition? Wolves this weekend could potentially prove to be a tougher test than Chelsea.
Drawing at Old Trafford, and losing twice at the Molineux Stadium, the first of which led to their exit from the FA Cup, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer certainly knows how formidable United's Monday night opponents are. United will have to show what they learnt from last season's mistakes and prevent Wolves from playing their game, or they could risk falling prey to Nuno Espirito Santo's once again.
Wolves have brilliant against the top six sides in the Premier League. So who are the main Wolves players that the Red Devils have to watch out for on Monday?
#3 Matt Doherty
An excellent crosser of the ball, a tireless runner up and down the right side and a player that plays with excellent awareness, Matt Doherty was one of the Wolves players who troubled United most when they faced off last season. The 27-year old Irishman is one of the best right-backs going forward in the Premier League, who notched up a very impressive 8 goals and 10 assists across all competitions last season.
A typical Wolves player, Doherty is one of those players whom you will find involved in almost every attack. He'll certainly give Luke Shaw/Ashley Young and Marcus Rashford a run for their money all game. He combines brilliantly with Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota in attack. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will have to stop his deliveries into the box and get to the ball before the Wolves forwards do, something which United failed to do last season.
#2 Ruben Neves
A high profile player who was rumoured to be on the wishlist of many top clubs this summer, Ruben Neves was one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League last season.
Known for being exceptional in dead-ball situations and set pieces, the Portuguese international has everything a modern midfielder craves. He can cut open a defensive backline with one pass, something United will unfondly remember from their previous defeats. His ability to read the game and win the ball lets him turn defence into attack in a flash.
His passing is exceptional in the final third, he's one of the main suppliers for the Wolves forwards Jota and Jimenez. Also, his ability to hit a dead ball into the top corner of the net is something the United defence will have to be aware of.
It'll be on Scott Mctominay and Paul Pogba to prevent Neves from going forward. The Portuguese punished United for some sloppy play in midfield last time around, something United can ill afford to repeat.
#1 Raul Jimenez
Arguably Wolves' best player, Jimenez racked up 17 goals and 8 assists in all competitions last season. United will remember him as one of the goalscorers in the quarter-final game which saw them crashing out of the FA Cup. Jiminez is a technically gifted player who combines brilliantly with Matt Doherty and Joao Moutinho. The Mexican international is a fox in the box striker, who will be at the end of every pass and every cross in the box. His presence in the 18-yard box had a troubled Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof on their heels all game in both games at the Molineux Stadium.
Harry Maguire will definitely have one of the sterner tests in the Premier League marking Raul Jimenez. United will have to stop and intercept the services into the box and keep a very compact shape in behind when Wolves have the ball. They will have to anticipate the runs Jimenez makes and will have to keep an eye out for counter-attacks as Wolves are devastating on the break.
It is a mouth-watering fixture at the Molineux Stadium this Sunday, a very entertaining and competitive Premier League encounter between two teams who are also in the Europa League this season. Can the brilliant start to the season take them to another victory against the former Championship side? Or will it be Nuno Espirito Santo's men who deal an early blow to United's top four challenge?
Give your thoughts in the comments!