Preview: Ten Hag must select the team capable of winning – even if he benches experience for youth! Rashford must perform or be dropped!

Wigan Athletic -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

DW Stadium, Wigan

Monday 8 January 2023, KO 20:15 GMT

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.

United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Forest 2-1 L, Villa 3-2 W, West Ham 2-0 L, Liverpool 0-0 D, Bayern 1-0 L, Bournemouth 3-0 L

Goals: 6 – Rasmus Hojlund, Scott McTominay, 5 – Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho, 4 – Casemiro, 3 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Anthony Martial, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Hannibal Mejbri, Raphael Varane

Assists: 5 – Bruno Fernandes, 4 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Christian Eriksen, Alejandro Garnacho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Casemiro, Diogo Dalot, Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Lisandro Martínez, Scott McTominay, Mason Mount, Facundo Pellistri, Luke Shaw

Wigan – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Barnsley 1-1 D, Carlisle 2-0 W, Derby 1-0 L, Reading 2-0 L, Port Vale 3-2 L, Lincoln 0-0 D

Goals: 8 – Stephen Humphrys, 7 – Charlie Wyke, 3 – Thelo Aasgaard, Martial Godo, 2 – Charlie Hughes, Jordan Jones, Callum Lang, Josh Magennis, Callum McManaman, 1 – Sean Clare, Liam Morrison, Tom Pearce, Steven Sessegnon, Jonny Smith, Chris Sze

Assists: 4 – Jordan Jones, Tom Pearce, 3 – Martial Godo, Stephen Humphrys, 2 – Thelo Aasgaard, Callum Lang, Callum McManaman, 1 – Babajide Adeeko, Sean Clare, Charlie Hughes, Josh Magennis, Omar Rekik, Matt Smith, Scott Smith

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Wigan have met once in the Emirates FA Cup. The match was played at Old Trafford on the 29 January 2017. United won 4-0 with goals from Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bastian Schweinsteiger – nome of them remain at the club.

That was the last match between the two teams. They have played 19 matches in total with United winning 18 and losing just one – no draws. 16 matches were played in the Premier League, one in the League Cup, one in the FA Cup and one in the FA Community Shield.

Mike Pollitt, Roy Carroll, Ben Amos, Mike Clegg, Reece James, Neil Whitworth, Pat McGibbon, Donald Love, Neil Mustoe, Tom Cleverley, Nick Powell, Keith Gillespie, Antonio Valencia, Will Keane, Ashley Fletcher, Angelo Henriquez have all played for United and Wigan.

Team News

Victor Lindelof (groin/hip/pelvic), Lisandro Martinez (ankle/foot), Harry Maguire (groin/hip/pelvic), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Mason Mount (calf/shin/heel) and Casemiro (thigh) have been ruled out due to injury. Jadon Sancho is still suspended by the club and likely to be loaned out.

Luke Shaw (muscular) has a 25% chance but Rasmus Hojlund and Anthony Martial (illness) both have a 50% chance of featuring against Wigan. Sofyan Amrabat has headed to the African Cup of Nations but Andre Onana is still available for selection for the next two matches.

Wigan will be without both Tom Pearce and Jason Kerr as they are sidelined with injuries. Stephen Humphrys and Scott Smith are also doubts for the clash with United. Luke Robinson was recently recalled form a loan spell and made the bench for the draw with Barnsley.

Predicted United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Onana;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot;

Mainoo, Eriksen;

Amad, Fernandes, Garnacho;

Hojlund

Predicted Wigan Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Tickle;

Clare, Hughes, Morrison, Sessegnon;

Shaw, Adeeko;

Godo, Lang, Jones;

Magennis

Match Prediction

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.

Wigan Athletic 0-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker


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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.