Sheffield United v Wolves preview: A winning start for Nuno's pack?

Wolverhampton Wanderers travel to Sheffield United on Monday night to start their 2020/21 Premier League campaign. 

Nuno Espirito Santo's men face a tough test at Bramall Lane against side they failed to beat last season.

Wolves will be hoping to start their season better than the last, where they failed to win any of their first six games. 

Despite a poor start to the season, The Wanderers finished the season strong, finishing above Arsenal in seventh place; gaining two more points than the 57 they achieved in the previous season. 

Despite their efforts, The Gunners' victory against Chelsea in the F.A. Cup final, meant that Wolves missed out on UEFA Europa League football.

Chris Wilder's side finished two places below Nuno's men in ninth in a fantastic return to the top flight.

Team news

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Wolves' activity in the transfer market is certainly more impactful to the future than the present. Given the nature of the transfers, it is unlikely that any of the new signings will start. 

With Fabio Silva and Vitinha being 18 and 20 respectively, they will need time to adapt. 

This doesn't mean the two Portuguese, as well as Marcal, won't get a late cameo appearance towards the end of the game. 

In terms of injuries, Nuno has almost a full squad available for the game. The only exception is Jonny Otto, who will be out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury.

On the contrary, Chris Wilder will have no injury concerns ahead of the game on Monday and will be able to choose from a full squad.

The Blades manager will be without the reliable Dean Henderson, who returned to Manchester United after a very successful loan spell. 

Aaron Ramsdale has been signed from AFC Bournemouth to fill the void. 

Who to watch out for?

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Adama Traore rose to the spotlight last season with some electrifying pace in the final third of the pitch. His lightning-fast pace, coupled with his powerful physique has left managers keeping a firm eye on him. 

In previous seasons, question marks were raised in regards to his final product. However, the 2019/20 season saw the wingers best return with four goals and nine assists. 

With Matt Doherty's departure, it is likely that Traore will be deployed in the wingback position. It was also in this position that the 24-year-old netted twice against Manchester City, in an emphatic 2-0 win at the Etihad. 

Having scored at the Molineux last season, Lys Mousset's ability is clear and Nuno will certainly want to keep him quiet this time around.

With Wilder often starting Billy Sharp upfront, the Frenchman tends to come on in his place, offering a different outlet in attack. 

Previous Meetings

In the same fixture last season, a John Egan winner in the 93rd minute gave The Blades a 1-0 victory.

 

Wolves still failed to beat Chris Wilder's side in last seasons reverse fixture when Doherty cancelled out an early opener from Mousset in a 1-1 draw at the Molineux.

The Wanderers last beat The Blades in 2018 when they scored three past a helpless Sheffield United side. The result avenged the previous meeting in the same season when Wilder's men beat Wolves 2-0.

Predicted Line Ups

Wolves (5-2-3): Patricio; Traore, Boly, Coady (C), Dendoncker, Vinagre; Neves; Moutinho; Jota, Jimenez, Podence.

Sheffield United (5-3-2): Ramsdale; Baldock, Basham, Egan, O'Connell, Stevens; Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck; Sharp, McBurnie.

The 6pm kick-off will be only be shown on Sky Sports on the channels Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, with coverage starting at 5pm.

 

 

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