Manchester United vs Wolverhampton WanderersEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:00 Aug 14, 2023, Old Trafford
MANCHESTER UNITED and Wolverhampton Wanderers round off the opening Premier League weekend when they meet at Old Trafford on Monday night.
After enduring a turbulent start to his tenure as Manchester United manager, the Red Devils were much improved under Erik ten Hag's tutorship last season, with the Dutchman bringing the club's six-year trophy drought to end courtesy of an EFL Cup triumph.
The United chief also steered his side to a top-four finish, and he has since splashed more than £160m to keep them competitive and with a view to closing the gap on their all-conquering rivals Man City.
That summer spending spree coupled with last season's marked progress will have raised expectations among the Old Trafford faithful and they will expect to see their side to take all three points from their curtain-raiser with Wolves.
The Old Gold flirted with relegation for much of last season before Julen Lopetegui's arrival coupled with a January splurge saw the men from Molineux pull away from trouble en-route to a 13th-placed finish.
However, the Midlands club have chosen to keep the purse strings drawn over the summer, a strategy that reportedly led to head coach Lopetegui leaving his role just three days before the start of the Premier League season, with Gary O'Neil swiftly announced as the Spaniards successor.
Manchester United, who boasted the second-best home record in the Premier League last season, go into their maiden home match of the season as odds-on 4/11 (Bet 365) favourites.
Wolverhampton Wanderers lost each of their final four away matches last season and the bookies' odds suggest they will suffer the same fate here, with an away win trading at 8/1 (William Hill) while the draw is also deemed unlikely at 9/2 (Bet 365).
Man United are too short to side with here but bundling up Manchester United to win and Under Five Match Goals will bring about a backable 4/5 (Ladbrokes) shot.
As already alluded to, United turned Old Trafford a fortress again last season, losing just once on their way to a third-placed finish -with that solitary loss coming in their first home game of the season 12 months ago.
What's more, the Red Devils' resurgence has been built on a solid defensive unit, with ten Hag's team conceding a league-best 10 goals in 19 top-flight outings at home last term, not to mention 14 of their 15 triumphs featured four goals or fewer.
As such, I'm happy to back the hosts to start the season with a comfortable if unspectacular win against a Wolves side whose off-field problems can't be helping them ahead of their curtain-raiser at the Theatre of Dreams.
It's also worth noting that Wolves were really poor travellers, triumphing just twice in 19 road trips away from their Black Country base, losing on 12 occasions.
In fact, this particular bet banked in both meetings between the pair last season – one of which was at the tail end of last term – and that only adds to the appeal of supporting the same formula at Old Trafford on Monday night.
Switching gears, I'll also delve into the anytime goalscorer market and back Marcus Rashford open his account for the season at even-money (William Hill).
Rashford, who was playing at the peak of powers for a large stretch of last season, should be leading the line here in the absence of Rasmus Hojlund, and he looks enticingly priced at evens (William Hill) to breach a Wolves backline that kept just one clean sheet across their 19 league games away from home last term.
This English Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers will be played on Aug 14, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.