January 2, 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers -v- Manchester United
Emirates FA Cup
Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
Saturday 4 January 2020, KO 17:30 GMT
Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Lee Betts; Constantine Hatzidakis Fourth Official: Chris Kavanagh
VAR: Stephen Tanner VAR Assistant: Michael Oliver
Manchester United face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup at the Molineux on Saturday evening. Both teams will be seeking to bounce back from defeats in the Premier League on New Year’s Day. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to find a way of getting his team playing in a way whereby they will become a threat to the opposition. Against Arsenal, the team were terrible and could not create much.
The January transfer window is open and it is clear that the team is lacking something. I fully back the manager in that he does not want to just bring in players for the sake of doing so as that may not be the best move at this stage of the rebuild – United need to sign the right type of players, ones with hunger, determination that want to see the club succeed again. Whether that happens this month remains to be seen.
Form: Both United and Wolves need to bounce back from defeats on New Year’s Day and in the last six matches, United have a better record winning three, drawing once and losing twice with Wolves winning three and losing three.
Manchester United: LWWLWD
Arsenal 2-0 L, Burnley 2-0 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Watford 2-0 L, Colchester United 3-0 W, Everton 1-1 D
Wolverhampton Wanderers: LLWWLW
Watford 2-1 L, Liverpool 1-0 L, Manchester City 3-2 W, Norwich City 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 L, Besiktas 4-0 W
Top Scorers: Marcus Rashford searching to add to his 16 goals in all competitions this season. Raúl Jiménez has five goals fewer than Rashford this season.
Manchester United Goals: 16 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Anthony Martial, 8 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young
United seemed to have turned another corner after beating both Newcastle United and Burnley during the Festive period after a 2-0 defeat to Watford before Christmas, however, a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal puts the team into the same position they were in before Christmas, seeking to come back from a poor defeat. If the team are going to win matches, the aim is to keep winning and progress, not stop/start development.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Goals: 11 – Raúl Jiménez, 6 – Diogo Jota, 5 – Adama Traoré, 4 – Matt Doherty, 3 – Patrick Cutrone, Romain Saïss, 2 – Rúben Neves, Leander Dendoncker, 1 – Willy Boly, Jonny, Bruno Jordao, João Moutinho, Pedro Neto
Wolves have been the bogey team for United since their return to the Premier League. In the four matches played between the two clubs, United are winless. This season seems to have taken its toll on Wolves and their form is not as good as it once was. In the past six matches, Wolves have won three and lost three – with the last two matches being defeats. United will be seeking to bounce back but so will Wolves.
Team News: Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba out for the match against Wolves. Youth should be given a chance in the FA Cup.
United have some problems ahead of this match. Scott McTominay looks set to be out for the next few months and despite Solskjaer saying that he thought Paul Pogba would travel for the Arsenal game ahead of it, it turned out the player was injured again and would be out for a month, seemingly requiring surgery for him to recover. It seems a shame that this has happened but it is all part of the game.
United lacked everything against Arsenal and coming against a team like Wolves is daunting considering the record against them of late. Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah, and Axel Tuanzebe could all be involved in the game against Wolves in the FA Cup otherwise the same team that faced United, perhaps aided by some talented youth, could be back on the pitch – which might not end with a good result.
Wolves could be without both Morgan Gibbs-White and Willy Boly for this game and considering they have a near enough fully fit squad for this game, not to mention aiming to come back from some poor form, which includes the 2-1 defeat to Watford on New Year’s Day, it could result in more problems for United to the start of the year, which would say a lot about this squad, which does not seem good enough to represent United.
Predicted Starting XI: Greenwood, Romero, Bailly, Pereira and Fosu-Mensah start against Wolves in the FA Cup?
United might not make many changes from the team that were beaten by Arsenal on New Year’s Day. Sergio Romero will probably come in for David De Gea as he has played in cup matches, although with Manchester City on the horizon, could he play back to back matches or will De Gea face City? I’d like to see Eric Bailly back, if fit enough with Tim Fosu-Mensah given the chance in midfield. Mason Greenwood should lead the line.
Match Prediction: United need to beat Wolves as in the past four matches wince they were promoted to the Premier League, United are winless – losing twice and drawing twice.
United and Wolves have played a total of 102 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 48 times, drawn 18 times and lost 36 times. The last defeat to Wolves came in the Premier League back in April 2019, a 2-1 defeat at the Molineux with Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the goals to win Scott McTominay scoring the opening goal, Diogo Jota equalising minutes later and a late own goal scored by Chris Smalling.
Since Wolves were promoted to the Premier League ahead of the 2018/19 season, United have not beaten them in four matches. The first match was played at Old Trafford and resulted in a 1-1 draw. United drew Wolves in the FA Cup that season, at the Molineux and lost 2-0, also losing at the Molineux in the league 2-1. In the last game, earlier this season, it was another 1-1 draw with Anthony Martial opening the scoring and Rúben Neves finding the equaliser. United need to beat Wolves so they can move on.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Manchester United