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Review & Ratings: United endure dire 0-0 draw with Wolves; no shots on target, no creativity, hunger, desire, or determination

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup at the Molineux. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lacked creativity, desire, hunger and determination during the game and clearly needs additions in the squad this month. The match will be replayed at Old Trafford at a date yet to be arranged to find the winner of this match for the fourth round.

United started the game well as did Wolves. There was little to write home about with few real chances on goal in the first half. United maybe should have had a penalty after Brandon Williams was taken out in the box but neither the referee or VAR gave anything – if it was Mohamed Salah, perhaps it might have been different. The first half ended 0-0 with United having slightly more possession but a lot more to do.

Solskjaer made three changes in the second half as United looked to have a successful shot on goal. Fred replaced Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford replaced Daniel James. Rashford had the best chance of the game for United seconds after setting foot on the pitch, hitting the crossbar. Around 12 minutes later, Diogo Dalot made his first appearance for the first team this season, replacing Tahith Chong.

Manchester United

Review & Ratings: United endure dire 0-0 draw with Wolves; no shots on target, no creativity, hunger, desire, or determination

The Argentinian had little to do against Wolves in the FA Cup. There was a period in the game where it seemed he could not continue, but he soon recovered, making a few good saves in the game. Conceded late in the game but the goal came off the arm and was promptly disallowed.

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Review & Ratings: United endure dire 0-0 draw with Wolves; no shots on target, no creativity, hunger, desire, or determination

The veteran winger-cum-fullback played well at times against Wolves. He was booked in the latter stages of the match and was perhaps lucky to not have been booked earlier in the game. United lacked massively, which should have given clues to the hierarchy of the club as we are in another transfer window.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede played well at times with Wolves not threatening as much as they could. He put in good block in late in the game to stop Wolves from scoring. He was also named the Man of the Match by BT Sport.

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5 Harry Maguire

The England defender did not look like he could complete the match in the firth half with Jones seemingly getting ready to come on during the break. However, the change never happened and Maguire plodded on through the match.

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33 Brandon Williams

The left-back should be first choice at the club. He gave Traore what for in his position, something Shaw would not have done against the winger. Could have won a penalty for United in the first half but nothing was given by the referee or VAR. Williams tried to get between everything when defending in his own final third. That was good to see.

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15 Andreas Pereira

With Fred rested, Pereira was tasked to run the midfield with Matic. There was little creativity from him or anyone else and United lacked inspiration to provide anything which could become a goal until Rashford was brought on.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The veteran midfielder held his own against Wolves. There was little creativity in the game and little to write home about. United kept a clean sheet and will take the game to Old Trafford.

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44 Tahith Chong

The Dutch winger did not have the best of games, but has not played for a good few weeks. He tried to get forward and create but United were not good enough in the advanced areas, having no shots on target during his appearance. Before he was replaced, Chong stole the ball, stopping a Wolves attack, which was a good action in the game from him.

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8 Juan Mata

The veteran Spanish midfielder got involved in the game, however, at the time of his departure in the 70th minute of the match, United did not have a shot on target. There was a lack of impetus, urgency or hunger to score a goal, let alone get one on target.

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Review & Ratings: United endure dire 0-0 draw with Wolves; no shots on target, no creativity, hunger, desire, or determination

The Welsh winger played well against Wolves although United's attack was lame, not getting a single shot on target throughout his appearance, which was not his fault.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The young forward should have had more of an impact in this game but United were poor throughout. Not a lot was created during the game and United did not have a single shot on target. Given creativity, Greenwood would be pouncing on those balls and aiming to score.

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Substitutes

17 Fred

Replaced Mata 70'. United needed something in midfield late in the game as there was little happening to get United the upper hand. Fred was involved from his introduction, partnering Matic.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced James 70'. Came on to help United get something from the game. Straight away he threatened on goal, hitting the crossbar. Rashford had another chance in the second half, however, it came to nothing.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Chong 82'. The young Portuguese defender played well and it was good to see him back after a long spell on the sidelines. He was unable to provide anything as United weathered the storm from Wolves.

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Goals: N/A

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Romero; Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Pereira, Matic; Chong (Dalot 82′), Mata (Fred 70′), James (Rashford 70′); Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Jones, Wan-Bissaka; Gomes

Bookings: Romain Saiss 57′, Max Kilman 72′, Joao Moutinho 90+4′; Ashley Young 86′

Confirmed Starting XI: Greenwood leads the line against Wolves; Chong and Rashford in support Gomes on the bench

Manchester United face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup at the Molineux this 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.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams;

Pereira, Matic;

Chong, Mata, James;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Grant; Jones, Dalot, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Gomes; Rashford

Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Ruddy;

Dendoncker, Coady, KIlman;

Doherty, Saiss, Neves, Vinagre;

Traore, Ashley-Seal, Neto

Substitutes:

Patricio, Bennett, Jonny, Otasowie, Buur, Moutinho, Jimenez

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.

How Manchester United could look against Wolves; Greenwood leading the line, Fosu-Mensah in midfield, Bailly in defence?

Manchester United will face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening at the Molineux. It is not happy hunting ground for United who are yet to beat Wolves at home or away since they were promoted to the Premier League ahead of last season. United and Wolves will be looking to come back from defeats on New Year’s Day with United falling to a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal with Wolves losing 2-1 against Watford.

United will be without both Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba for a prolonged period of time meaning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is down to barebones, especially in midfield with him needing to look into bringing additional players into the club during the January transfer window. United will be seeking to get one over Wolves as they have not done so in the four meetings already since their return to the Premier League. Here is my starting XI prediction for this match.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero has been a decent stand in for David De Gea this season and has been tasked to play in cup matches. However, this coming wee will see United playing in the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup and perhaps Romero may not play in both matches, however, that remains to be seen. The Argentinian has performed to the best of his abilities each time he has played this season. In his six appearances, 540 minutes of football this season, he has kept a total of five clean sheets showing his abilities as a goalkeeper, something United will be proud of.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

The defence will need to be at their best when they face Wolves as they are a very attacking team, despite being in a period of indifferent form, based on their last six results – three wins and three losses. Victor Lindelof has declined, in my opinion, of late so the return of Eric Bailly should be something that is thought about. Partnering him with Harry Maguire with the captain seeking to find form after some poor performances in the past month. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should play in the right-back position with Brandon Williams playing at left-back as I just do not see anything positive in Luke Shaw at this moment in time. Williams was the Man of the Match against Burnley but not used against Arsenal, even when Shaw was being battered on the left. It was easy to see.

Midfield: Fred, Tim Fosu-Mensah

There is not much depth in the midfield at United, this was something that could have been seen in the summer when Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera were not replaced. United have just Fred and Nemanja Matic as experienced midfielders and Matic is not fast enough to play in big matches also with talk that he wants to leave the club. Fred should keep his place as his progress has been seen over the past feel months and he deserves to be rewarded with a place in the team. Partnering him though will be problematic with both Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba on the sidelines through injury for two months and one month respectively. Tim Fosu-Mensah has been training over recent weeks in a bid to return from a knee injury. Playing at right-back will not be an option and in defence, it’s unlikely that he will be chosen so in defensive midfield, he could be a player that helps the club going forward.

Attacking Midfielders: Daniel James, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford

United need to get more from the attack. Creativity has been poor this season, despite many goals being scored. Against Arsenal, there was nothing of not happening and the forwards could not make anything work. If those higher up in the club cannot see that players are not good enough, I don’t know what else to say. Daniel James should keep his place in the team as should Marcus Rashford. Both players have aided the team this season. Andreas Pereira should play in the number ten position in this formation as he offered more than Jesse Lingard in a few minutes compared to what Lingard did in the best part of an hour against Arsenal. I don’t see Pereira as a long-term solution but I see less in Lingard based on the past year as he just occupies a place in the team, doing nothing of note the majority of the time.

Striker: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood needs to be given the chance to lead the line for United. Granted, Anthony Martial has not been provided with the chances because of the players behind him but he is not completely faultless as at times he has not been in the position to benefit from chances that have been created. A striker will need to play that forward role all of the time, not sitting outside of the box to the left or the right, like Martial has. The Frenchman will need a rest too and having a good rotation forward in Greenwood, it could be a great thing for United but will the manager learn to entrust the youth or will he only use them either when he has to or when he feels comfortable? Time will tell.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young; Juan Mata, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic; Anthony Martial

United will need to have something on the bench to bring on if they struggle in the game or need something extra to ensure they get the result they want – staying in the FA Cup this season. I would expect to see David De Gea rested with Lee Grant on the bench. Victor Lindelof and Ashley Young could provide defensive cover, if needed. Juan Mata, Angel Gomes and Nemanja Matic could provide midfield reinforcement and Anthony Martial on the bench should they need extra firepower in the attack to win the game or find a way of coming back from a deficit. This will be a tough game for United and one they really should be winning.

Preview: Manchester United need to respond to Arsenal defeat by throwing Wolves to the wolves, but can they achieve it?

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

copyright: JW