Manchester United will be looking to advance further in the FA Cup when they take on Wolves in their third round replay on Wednesday night.
A spot in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup will be for the taking as Manchester United welcome Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers to Old Trafford for a third round replay on Wednesday.
The previous meeting between the two sides in the cup competition at the Molineux ended in a goalless draw, following which Manchester United were thrashed 1-3 by Manchester City in the League Cup semifinals. The Red Devils produced a strong reaction to that defeat, beating Norwich City 4-0 in the Premier League and will be looking to carry that momentum forward.
Wolves, on the other hand, are without a win in their last four matches in all competitions (D2 L2). Following the draw against Manchester United, Nuno’s side played out a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at home this past weekend. The Midlands’ outfit will be aiming to correct their course at the earliest possible and a win on Wednesday would be a step in the right direction.
Ahead of this crunch clash between Manchester United and Wolves at Old Trafford, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the sides.
Team News & Tactics
Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo remain sidelined for Manchester United while Luke Shaw is also a doubt due to a hamstring issue. Jesse Lingard’s involvement is also uncertain after he missed the last game due to illness. Eric Bailly returned to action with the U23s last week, but will not be involved on Wednesday.
Sergio Romero ought to replace David de Gea in goal as is the case for all cup clashes. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are set to pair up at the heart of the Manchester United defence again, with Phil Jones unlikely to get a game after his disastrous outing in the derby.
Brandon Williams should continue on the left-side of the backline while Diogo Dalot could get a nod on the right side, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka likely to be given a breather. Nemanja Matic and Fred should once again start in the midfield double pivot, given the lack of options at Solskjaer’s disposal.
Juan Mata impressed in the last game against Norwich, setting up two goals and should slot in as the No. 10 role. With a key clash against Liverpool coming up at the weekend, Solskjaer might look to hold someone like Marcus Rashford and Daniel James back, both of whom have had minor fitness issues of late.
That would mean Andreas Pereira is likely to get the nod on the right wing, while Anthony Martial moves to the left flank with youngster Mason Greenwood spearheading the Manchester United attack.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Romero; Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Fred, Matic; Pereira, Mata, Martial; Greenwood
Wolves will be without key forward Diogo Jota while Patrick Cutrone has left the club to join Fiorentina on loan, meaning Nuno has limited options at his disposal to rotate his troops in attack. Willy Boly also remains sidelined for the Midlands’ club heading into Wednesday’s fixture.
There are unlikely to be many changes to the side that started at the weekend against Newcastle United. John Ruddy is expected to replace first-choice goalkeeper Rui Patricio between the sticks for the third round replay. No changes are likely in the three-man backline for the visitors, with Leander Dendoncker, Conor Coady and Romain Saiss set to feature from kickoff again.
Matt Doherty ought to continue as Wolves’ right-sided wing-back, but there could be an alteration on the opposite flank with Ruben Vinagre likely to come in for Jonny Castro. Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United, should pair up in the Wolves’ midfield once again.
No changes will be made in attack either as Adama Traore and Pedro Neto provide the threat from the flanks with Raul Jimenez, who is believed to be on the radars of Manchester United, spearheading the Wolves’ attack.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Ruddy; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Vinagre; Traore, Jimenez, Neto
- Since a 5-0 win in 2012, Manchester United are without a win in their previous five meetings against Wolves across all competitions (D3 L2).
- Wolves have not picked up a victory in their last ten visits to Old Trafford (D2 L8). Their last win at the Theatre of Dreams came in February 1980.
- This is the first time that Manchester United have been involved in a FA Cup third round replay since 2012-13 when they eliminated West Ham to progress in the competition.
- Wolves have lost nine of their previous ten FA Cup third round replays away from home. Their only win in such a fixture came against Oldham in 2007.
Player to Watch
The Manchester United academy graduate has been making all the right noises in his first full season with the first-team. Greenwood has already found the back of the net on nine occasions in 26 matches across all competitions while he has also laid on two assists.
Each time he has been given an opportunity by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the youngster has, more often than not, grabbed it with both hands. And with Marcus Rashford likely to be held back on Wednesday night, the onus will be on Greenwood to step up and deliver the goods for Manchester United.
Manchester United 2-1 Wolves
Wolves have not lost even once in their last five meetings with Manchester United. However, Nuno Santo’s side are not in the best of form of late, with no wins in their last four games. The Red Devils looked clinical in their 4-0 win against Norwich City and if they are able to play at the same level, they will be able to get the better of Wolves to advance to the next round of FA Cup.