Wolves v Manchester United: Toothless hosts an unreliable bet

Andrew Atherley says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can get a positive result at Molineux even with a second-string side...

Wolves lack bite

Wolves go into the final day currently best of the also-rans in 12th with 45 points, which has been an underwhelming third season in the Premier League after two consecutive seventh places.

The gap to Aston Villa, the team above them, is a yawning seven points, while Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle could yet push them down a few more places.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have been unable to cope with the losses of Raul Jimenez (to injury) and Diogo Jota (to Liverpool), who contributed 24 goals between them in the Premier League last season.

This season's joint top scorers are Ruben Neves and Pedro Neto with five and Wolves have managed a total of just 35 goals (the lowest outside the bottom four).

Neto has also joined the injury list, leaving Fabio Silva (four goals) to lead the attack with Adama Traore (two goals).

Europa final on the horizon

Man United are assured of second place behind neighbours City, which is only the second time they have finished that high in the eight seasons since their last Premier League title under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken them from sixth in his first half-season to third last time and now second, which represents progress even if he has yet to mount a sustained title challenge.

Wednesday night could bring his first piece of silverware in the Europa League final against Villarreal and he is expected to field an entire second-string XI here.

In recent games Solskjaer has given rare Premier League starts to Alex Telles, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Anthony Elanga, Amad Traore, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, and several of those names are likely to feature on the teamsheet again.

Markets sway towards Wolves

Wolves have never really got going this season, registering back-to-back wins on only three occasions (two of those brief spurts involved relegated Fulham), and they are in danger of ending with a whimper after losing their last two games to nil (2-0 at Tottenham, 1-0 at Everton).

The only wins in the last 12 for Nuno's side have been against Fulham (currently 18th), Sheffield United (20th) and Brighton (16th) and their sole victory against a top-eight side was 2-1 at home to Chelsea on December 15.

On form Wolves should not be favourites at 2.6 but the circumstances - nothing to play for in the league; United with everything to play for in the Europa League on Wednesday - have had a major sway on the odds.

United have not won in their last three league games with Solskjaer rotating his squad, although it is worth noting that they have scored each time. Their only blank in their last 17 games in all competitions came in a goalless draw against Leeds four weeks ago.

With Wolves having won only five of their 27 Premier League games when conceding, there seems a good chance of United taking something from this match if they get on the scoresheet again.

The expected changes bring an element of uncertainty but United's squad depth is good enough to make them very competitive against a Wolves side lacking in confidence and goals.

It looks worth taking the chance with United off 0 on the Asian handicap at 2.07.

Goals might not flow

The reverse fixture ended 1-0 to United and it is worth considering under 2.5 goals at 2.12 despite the tendency of final-day games to be high-scoring.

Wolves are joint second this season for under 2.5 goals (59%) and it is possible United won't be as free-flowing as usual given their likely team changes.

On the figures United are the mirror opposite of Wolves with 59% over 2.5 goals, which would make this a tricky match to weigh up in terms of goals in any circumstances.

Under 2.5 goals looks the value call here.

Opta Stat

Manchester United have lost their final league game in just one of their last 13 campaigns (W9 D3), going down 2-0 against Cardiff in 2018-19. When finishing their Premier League campaign away from home, the Red Devils are unbeaten in 10 games (W7 D3), since losing 1-3 at Spurs in 2000-01. United are 2.82 to win here.

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