Manchester United’s 2023/24 Premier League season gets underway on Monday as they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Old Trafford in a curtain-raising fixture.
Erik ten Hag is gearing up for his second season in charge of the Red Devils following an impressive maiden campaign.
The Dutchman halted United’s six-year title drought in 2022/23, courtesy of a League Cup triumph last February, and helped them return to the Champions League after a season-long absence.
Ambitions for the new season are as high as it gets after Man Utd did a stellar job in the early transfer window, reinforcing multiple squad areas to bolster their bid to win the Premier League for the first time since 2013.
Man Utd are many bookmakers’ favourites to finish in the top four again this season, and if you are looking to bet on Man Utd or bet in football in general, get started with our preview below to see our predictions for United’s opening game of the season.
A big part of the bullishness behind predictions for Man Utd has been their transfer activity. In addition to replacing long-serving goalkeeper David de Gea with Andre Onana, the Red Devils have acquired the services of skilled midfielder Mason Mount and Danish prodigy Rasmus Hojlund.
Led by the newly-appointed captain Bruno Fernandes, United will seek a more promising start to the season, unlike the previous campaign when they commenced with back-to-back defeats.
Wolves’ visit to the Theatre of Dreams plays perfectly into Man Utd’s hands, given the visitors’ perennial struggle in England’s top flight and their relatively disappointing recruitment campaign.
New boss Gary O’Neil, who inspired Bournemouth to Premier League survival last term, has replaced underperforming Julen Lopetegui in the dugout.
O’Neil’s first assignment will be to improve Wolves’ underwhelming scoring record, as they’ve failed to hit a 40-goal landmark in the last three league campaigns.
Man Utd finished last season on a high, racking up four consecutive Premier League victories, including a 1-0 win over O’Neil’s Bournemouth on their ultimate league travel.
One of ten Hag’s great successes in his first season was a rock-solid backline that conceded the division’s third-low 43 goals, with only Manchester City and Newcastle United boasting better defensive records.
However, without an out-and-out striker, United massively struggled in front of goal, as only Aston Villa (51) bagged fewer goals than the Red Devils (58) among sides to have qualified for European competition.
While Hojlund’s arrival from Atalanta should provide a long-term solution, the 20-year-old’s minor fitness issue will put Marcus Rashford under the spotlight, as was the case the entire last season.
Rashford had his hand in 38% of Man Utd’s Premier League goals in 2022/23 (22/58), tallying an eye-catching 17 goals and five assists in his most prolific senior campaign.
Unlike Man Utd’s inspiring form toward the end of last season, Wolves clocked out with a whimper rather than a bang, going winless in three consecutive Premier League games (D1, L2).
Both those defeats came by 2+ goals ‘to nil,’ seeing Wolves succumb to a 2-0 loss at non-other than United before a 5-0 demolition at the hands of Arsenal on the final weekend.
As the division’s third-worst visitors, they only managed 11 points from 19 top-flight travels last term (W2, D5, L12), losing four successive away matches at the tail-end of 2022/23 via a combined score of 15-1.
The Midlands outfit should brace themselves up for another less impressive result, considering they’ve drawn a blank on three of their last four Premier League visits to Old Trafford.
Besides the abovementioned Hojlund, Man Utd boss Ten Hag should have the remainder of his squad fit and ready for the opening fixture.
Likewise, Wolves will touch down in Manchester at full strength after fending off Napoli’s interest in their captain Max Kilman.
Manchester United potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen; Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, Antony; Marcus Rashford.
Wolverhampton Wanderers potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Jose Sa; Rayan Ait-Nouri, Craig Dawson, Max Kilman, Nelson Semedo; Mario Lemina, Matheus Nunes, Joe Hodge; Pedro Neto, Matheus Cunha, Pablo Sarabia.
We Say: Manchester United 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Despite going unbeaten in all five pre-season outings (W3, D2), Wolves shouldn’t stand a chance at Old Trafford.
Man Utd were a force to be reckoned with on home soil last term, clocking up an impressive 15 wins from 19 league games at the Theatre of Dreams (D3, L1).