Manchester Utd. - Wolverhampton

I won’t waste the words too much on United and their current form. Sir Alex again pulled something from the hat and this squad is again fully competitive. Five wins and one defeat (vs. Burnley on the road, 0-1) in Premier League, so far. For tonight’s encounter some youngsters and fringe players will get a chance. Goalie will be Tomasz Kuszczak instead walking disaster, Ben Foster. Central defenders will be Wes Brown and Jonny Evans. Just a fact Brown will be in front suggest a decent possibility of conceding goals. Gibson, Macheda, Welbeck, Brown, Tosic, some of them will also appear. Michael Owen will be in attack as the reward for Saturday’s winner. Far from disputing their talent, just don’t think they can be fully competitive and play on result. Despite some good results in past, Sir Alex doesn’t rank Cup competition (especially League Cup) too high and I think any upset tonight wouldn’t even take a smile, after Saturday’s win, from his face. They have a clash against Stoke at Saturday and most of his key players will be resting (at least first 60 minutes).

Woverhampton started this season as clear underdogs. Fast return in second tier is something that has been already predicted to them. But, so far, they’re announcing a battle at least. Two wins in opening six rounds, Wigan on the road (1-0) and in last round Fulham at home (2-1). Worth of mentioning is also their more than decent away display in defeat against Man.City (0-1). Their biggest problem currently is big number of new players, some signings are even new in England and simply need some time to adapt. Also, Wolves have had a lots of injury concerns. For tonight’s game, two key players are making comebacks from injury, excellent winger Michael Kightly and striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (both came as the substitutes at Saturday’s win). Also new signing, striker Stefan Maierhofer, will have his debut. Boss Mick McCarthy will try to use this game for morale boosting, but also as a test game for Premier League. This could be the strongest Wolves’ team this season. 

United are always favorites wherever they play, but I can not see any obvious domination. Although home win is probable, I can not see any convincing win and wouldn’t even write off some surprising result at Trafford. Especially because I expect some outcome from Wolves’ attacking force. Asian handicap +1.75 on visitors seems as a very good value and nice choice, (188 offer 1.95), while Pinnacle for +1.5 offer also more than decent 2.20. 

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