Manchester United will face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup for the second time in 11 days after their 0-0 draw at the Molineux which forced this replay. The winner of this match will face either Watford or Tranmere Rovers away in the fourth round of the competition. Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nuno Espírito Santo will be seeking to put their teams into the fourth round of the competition.
United have new-found confidence after their 4-0 victory over Norwich City on Saturday in which Marcus Rashford scored a brace and both Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood got their names on the scoresheet. Granted, injuries are still causing problems for United but the fact that Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah both returned to action last week, playing an U23s fixture, Solskjaer could have fresh options.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup third round replay at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening…
Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero
The Argentinian goalkeeper is a safe pair of hands when David De Gea is not playing. He was rested from the squad at the weekend and there has been no confirmation that he is injured so I am presuming that he was rested with the view of facing Wolves for the second time in 11 days in this reply. Romero has six clean sheets to his name this season, more than De Gea which shows how good he is, although he has not really faced any big teams when he has played – Wolves being the biggest team he has kept a clean sheet against this season.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams
The defence could well be strengthened with Eric Bailly returning from injury, if it is judged that he is able to be tested for the first team after playing around 60 minutes for the U23s last week. With other players out injured and Phil Jones being the player that could start, which is not something many would like to see. Harry Maguire could be needed to ensure United’s defence is not stuck with Phil Jones, although Victor Lindelof could keep his place in the team with Maguire being rested, however, he is my preference. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams will keep their placed in the fullback positions as they are the best United has in those two positions at this moment in time.
Midfield: James Garner, Tim Fosu-Mensah
United are short of options in midfield. Fred has played in the last seven matches, playing 90 minutes six times and 20 minutes in the other match. He could do with a rest ahead of the visit to Liverpool on Sunday. Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are both injured and Nemanja Matic is not the type of player that can play back to back matches for a long period of time. Tim Fosu-Mensah played about an hour for the U23s last week, which could be enough for him to be involved in this match. He could partner James Garner, who has played in the first team six times this season and as the U23s don’t play until the end of the month, he would be available without weakening the U23s.
Attacking Midfielders: Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Daniel James
Marcus Rashford was taken off before the hour mark of the 4-0 victory over Norwich City on Saturday – there is a chance that he could be left out for this game, possibly with him being on the bench. Daniel James could play on the left-wing in his place but Rashford is in the form of his life right now and will be missed, if he’s not in the team at all. Angel Gomes could play in the middle of the three attacking midfielders – he needs game time and is a better option than Jesse Lingard, who is not offering much going forward. Mason Greenwood should keep his place as he is growing into his responsibilities this season and becoming the player he has been tipped to become.
Striker: Anthony Martial
The Frenchman is likely to keep his place in the team to face Wolves as he’s one of the brightest players in the squad at this moment in time. He has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season and is ready to score more before the end of the season. If Rashford is not playing, the trio of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood may not all bet together but having two of them is not all that bad. Martial has a bit further to go in order to become that striker everyone knows he could become but with creativity in the team.
Substitutes: Lee Grant; Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot; Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic; Marcus Rashford, Tahith Chong
United may need something special on the bench in order to get a result as Wolves will be fired up to beat United, as they have not been defeated by them since their return to the Premier League. Lee Grant will be the goalkeeper on the bench, if needed. Phil Jones and Diogo Dalot could be the defensive reinforcements with Andreas Pereira and Nemanja Matic in the midfield and attacking midfield ranks, if something is needed to defend or add more attacking prowess into the team. If Marcus Rashford does not start, he will most likely be on the bench and could come on to find a goal or two. Tahith Chong could be the other option in this depleted squad.