Wolves visit Bramall Lane tonight just a few short months after losing to the Blades 1-0 thanks to a dramatic and late John Egan header.
Nuno Santo’s men struggled to create much that night as the Blades once again held firm in their shape and defensive sets, nullifying the threats of Traore, Jota, and Raul Jimenez throughout.
However, as we all know, no two games of football are ever the same and tonight represents a completely different ask for Chris Wilder and Alan Knill. It is, though, a game that the Blades management will fancy they can win.
Wolves have had little time to rest following their Europa League exploits, while the Blades boss has a number of new signings he could unleash. Furthermore, Wolves are struggling with a few niggles and lost key wing-back, Matt Doherty, to Spurs in the summer.
And it is that loss of Doherty which could prove crucial for tonight, with Adama Traore set to start in an unfamiliar right wing-back role for Nuno Santo.
Traore brilliant in attack but United’s left side can win the game
The talents of Adama Traore are not in question. This is a player who, on his day, can win a game alone with a single flash of brilliance. His pace scares the life out of defenders and the sheer size of him makes him a nightmare.
However, United’s strength comes from wide areas and, in particualr, down the left-hand side, with John Fleck, Enda Stevens, and Jack O’Connell all seasoned performers down that flank.
The threat is obvious for Wolves. Stevens scored twice and set up a further four last year, while the brilliant Fleck notched five times and set up two himself. Add into the mix the marauding runs of O’Connell and – if he plays – David McGoldrick dropping off to help out, and Traore could land himself in trouble.
The Spanish winger is an obvious threat himself going forward and has, of course, played the role at times before for Wolves under Nuno Santo.
However, the Blades should be confident of causing him problems defensively tonight and in Stevens, Fleck, and O’Connell, United have more than enough down the left to ensure a rough night for Traore.