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The Chalkboard: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to avoid a repeat of the FA Cup defeat to Wolves

In Manchester United’s last meeting with Wolves, the Red Devils tasted defeat, succumbing to a 2-1 loss at Molineux.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were excellent on the night, with Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez causing the United backline all sorts of trouble.

What did Solskjaer get wrong?

It may sound strange, but Solskjaer set his team up too high and too attack minded against Wolves last month, which was the beginning of the 20-time Premier League champions’ downfall in the Midlands.

Obviously, for a club as big as United, they are expected to take the game to any team they face and look to pin them back, deploying their centre-backs close to the halfway line and their full-backs deep in the opponent’s final third.

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This plan would work well against a team such as Burnley for example, a side lacking pace on the break, although against Wolves, it plays perfectly into Nuno’s hands.

With Jota and Adama Traore up top, in addition to Jimenez and his excellent hold-up ability, Wolves are one of the most dangerous counter-attacking teams in the league and have already put a number of the ‘top six’ to the sword this season.

Wolves have beaten Chelsea, Tottenham, United and Liverpool, and have also recorded draws against Arsenal and Manchester City by soaking up the pressure and hitting them on the break – Solskjaer must avoid falling into this trap.

How should he go about it?

Well, as we saw in Wolves’ last game against Burnley, and against a number of other bottom-half sides, they don’t like it when the space in behind is limited.

When teams sit deep, Wolves seem unable to break them down when the ball over the top is completely cut out.

It would be a hugely controversial tactical decision for Solskjaer to set his side up to sit deep and play Wolves at their own game – something they can easily manage with the pace of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku – especially if it backfired.

However, that is the trap that most of the Premier League’s top six have fallen into this season when playing Wolves – with a place in the top four yet to be secured, Solskjaer needs to be bold in order to get the three points.

Article title: The Chalkboard: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to avoid a repeat of the FA Cup defeat to Wolves

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