How do United end hoodoo against Wolves?

Manchester United host Wolves tomorrow night for a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

But United have played against the Old Gold five times since they were promoted back to the Premier League in 2018 and are still yet to win.

We’ve taken a look at why the Reds have struggled against Nuno Santo’s side under both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and what they can do to improve that poor record this week.

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Why have United struggled against Wolves?

Wolves are an ambitious club and, as soon as they were back in the big time, set their sights on some statement results.

Last season, they were fantastic against the top sides and dropped points against the lesser lights at times.

They’ve made sure they’re at the top of their game every time they’ve played United, right from the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford back in 2018.

Santo has also introduced a clear style of play, with an emphasis on cross-field passing and deep defending. United still don’t have that identity.

Further, United’s away form has been broadly poor under Solskjaer and all four of the Norwegian’s meetings with the Old Gold have come on the road.

Wolves have proved themselves capable of limiting United’s goalscoring chances and raising their game as matches wear on to earn wins and draws in the second halves of the previous meetings.

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How can United break the hoodoo?

United have gone in front in three of their five matches against Wolves, two of which were under Solskjaer.

Wolves tend to sit off in the first half of their meetings with United, handing us the opportunity to control possession.

If United move the ball like they did against Norwich on Saturday, they should be able to use that to get their noses in front.

Wolves have a thin squad who have been looking a tad jaded of late, and that slight lack of sharpness can turn a reactive gameplan into a passive one.

If that’s the case, United can take advantage and finally get that first win against Santo’s Wolves, at the sixth time of asking.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.