Weblog: The football punter

Red Devils could falter in Molineux examination

TV: Sky Sports Premier League & Sky Sports Main Event, 8pm Monday

Manchester United silenced the cynics with a 4-0 dismantling of Chelsea in their Premier League opener but the criticism of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could resurface after a trip to Molineux.

Wolves cultivated a reputation as giant slayers last term, beating the Red Devils, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea as well as holding Manchester City on home soil last campaign.

In the long term, the Midlands side's counter-attacking approach could be worked out but for now they should have enough to unsettle a United outfit in transition.

Solskjaer's men put out a statement of intent with last week's result but the scoreline against Chelsea does not tell the full story.

The Blues rattled the woodwork twice either side of Kurt Zouma's clumsy challenge, which conceded a penalty, United lost the shot count 18-11 and saw less of the ball.

Their game plan seemed fixed on soaking up pressure at the back before hitting Chelsea on the break but that may not work against a Wolves team who like to allow their opponents plenty of possession.

Nuno Santo's men finished best of the rest last season and are a two-legged playoff tie with Torino away from making the Europa League group stage.

They brushed aside Armenians Pyunik 8-0 on aggregate and were able to rest key players for the return leg on Thursday after establishing a 4-0 advantage in the away match.

That rest is important for a small group who play high-intensity football and they are worth chancing against the Manchester club, who they defeated 2-1 in April's corresponding fixture.

Santo resisted the urge to overhaul his squad this summer and the starting 11 in their first game against Leicester City featured no new signings.

They could have snatched all three points on that occasion had it not been for VAR ruling out a late Leander Dendoncker strike for a handball.

Chelsea's lone striker Tammy Abraham did little to stretch or test United's rearguard last week but a striking duo of Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez can put the new defensive partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof under the microscope.

The first Monday Night Football encounter of the season promises to be a pulsating encounter but punters should expect a cagey affair, which Wolves can edge after accumulating 34 points at home last campaign.

Solskjaer's United are still tough to gauge so punters may be best placed going down the Wolves draw no bet route at a shade of odds-against.

Wolves draw no bet

The Football Site

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