Manchester United start their Emirates FA Cup journey on Monday evening when they travel to the DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic. Erik ten Hag will need to get something working well if United are going to make the fourth round of the FA Cup this season.
Wigan are a team that United should be beating easily but this season these are the matches that United will massively struggle with and they will need to fight hard against Wigan. United are two players down with Sergio Reguilon returning to Spurs and Donny van de Beek out on loan.
Wigan head into this match close to the relegation zone in League One, sitting in 18th place just nine points from the bottom place in the league. United sit in eighth place in the Premier League, 14 points from the top of the league – which seems an impossible feat for United now this season.
Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot;
Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford;
Bayindir, Heaton; Bennett, Kambwala; Forson, Hannibal; Pellistri, Shoretire, Hugill
Clare, Hughes, Morrison, Sessegnon;
Godo, Aasgaard, Jones;
Amos, Kerr, Carragher, Robinson, McManaman, Smith, Lanf, Magennis, Wyke
United need to find their feet as a football club in order to find progression once again. This season has been a shambles for United. 45 goals have been conceded this season just over the halfway stage in the Premier League. Andre Onana has been terrible for United.
That said, the defence has been hit with an injury crisis with Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia all having considerable time on the sidelines through injury. The midfield has also suffered with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen having injuries.
United will need to be running when those players all return later this month with just this match and the one against Spurs on the 14th January left to play before February hots up with a minimum of five matches to be played. United will need to challenge Wigan or face more problems.
Written by John Walker