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United licking their wounds ahead of Wolves clash

Things have not gone Manchester United's way of late, putting the Red Devils in a somewhat unsettling position ahead of their Premier League contest against Wolverhampton on Saturday.

United crashed out of the Champions League with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of FC Basle midweek, dropping the Red Devils to a third-place finish in Group C and a berth in the Europa League.

To add insult to injury, Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic suffered a ruptured ACL in the defeat and will miss the remainder of the season.

The retired Serbian international sustained the damage to his right knee, and will require surgery that will sideline him through at least May when the EPL season ends.

Manchester United also bowed out of the Carling Cup last week with a loss at home to Crystal Palace in extra time, albeit with a squad littered with reserve players.

But despite all that has gone wrong for United, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is still wary of the threat the Red Devils pose, especially at Old Trafford.

"Because of what Crystal Palace did there, United are on a 'bad' run and maybe we're expected to do likewise," McCarthy said. "But they're on a bad run having lost two games there in two years or something like that.

"Come on, we're playing [United] at Old Trafford. Last season they only dropped two points at home, to West Bromwich."

Wolverhampton remains toward the bottom of the table, tied with Swansea City on 14 points. But Wolves are coming off of an impressive 2-1 win over Sunderland at Molineux which saw Steven Fletcher bag a second-half brace in the come-from-behind victory.

Second-place United have only lost once in Premier League play this season, which came at home to first-place Manchester City.

Elsewhere on Saturday, fifth-place Arsenal aims to extend its unbeaten Premier League run to eight games when it hosts Everton, and Liverpool looks to get back into winning form when it hosts QPR.

Newcastle United hopes to move into the top four with a win over Norwich City on Saturday, while Fulham, unbeaten in its last three league games, travels to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City.

Bolton is looking to snap its three-game losing streak with a result against Aston Villa at the Reebok Stadium, and West Bromwich hosts Wigan at The Hawthorns to round out Saturday's action.

On Sunday, Martin O'Neill makes his managerial debut for Sunderland as the Black Cats host Blackburn, and Stoke City goes for its third-straight win when it hosts third-place Tottenham at the Britannia Stadium.

But perhaps the most appealing fixture of the weekend takes place on Monday.

League-leading Manchester City, fresh off its failure to advance from the Champions League Group Stage, travels to West London to square off against fourth-place Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.