Manchester United are set to take on League One side Wigan Athletic at DW Stadium in the FA Cup third-round fixture on Monday night.
This should be an easy fixture for the record Premier League champions as Shaun Maloney’s side are currently languishing down 17 in the league, sitting only four points off the relegation zone.
However, considering Man Utd’s current poor form, it is hard to predict that the Red Devils will be able to win this encounter comfortably and reach the next round.
Erik ten Hag’s side have lost 50 percent of their games so far this term. They have already been eliminated from Europe after finishing at the bottom of their Champions League group.
Man Utd are currently languishing down eighth in the Premier League table, sitting nine points behind the fourth-placed Arsenal. So, it looks unlikely that Ten Hag’s side will be able to finish in the top-four position and qualify for the Champions League next season.
In addition, it seems difficult for them to finish in the top-six and play in the Europa League. However, the FA Cup could be a pathway for them to play in Europe’s second-tier competition as winners of the World’s oldest competition are set to play in the Europa League.
So, Ten Hag is likely to take this competition seriously and will be hoping to lift this tournament this time around having lost in the final against Manchester City last campaign.
Man Utd have been dominant against Wigan over the last two decades as they have won 18 out of the last 19 games versus their Monday’s opponent in all competitions, losing only one. So, Man Utd will be keen on continuing their impressive record against Wigan in this fixture.
How to watch
The match will kick off at 8:15 pm UK time and the game will be televised live on ITV1 channel in the UK.
Manchester United tickets can also be purchased for the game through official club channels. However, with a small away allocation, these tickets will be sold out by now so fans may have to use a trusted reseller site if they want to get their hands on a match ticket.
Tom Pearce and Jason Kerr are set to miss out on this encounter due to their respective injuries, while Stephen Humphrys and Scott Smith are in doubt ahead of this contest.
As for Man Utd, they have struggled with several injury problems during the first half of this season, however, the majority of them are set to return this month. But, it is unlikely that they will be able to feature in this fixture.
So, Lisandro Martínez, Casemiro, Mason Mount, Tyrell Malacia, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial are set to remain sidelined on Monday.
Sofyan Amrabat won’t be available for selection in the upcoming fixtures as he has travelled with his national team, Morocco, to play in the AFCON. Andre Onana is also set to play for his country, Cameroon, in this competition but he is available for selection versus Wigan.
Man Utd have terminated Sergio Reguilon’s loan so the Spaniard has now returned to Tottenham Hotspur and isn’t in contention to feature in this encounter.
Wigan are expected to go with the 4-2-3-1 formation in this fixture. Sam Tickle should be in goal and in front of him, Sean Clare, Charlie Hughes, Liam Morrison and Steven Sessegnon could be the back four for the hosts.
Babajide Adeeko and Liam Shaw are likely to be in the midfield pivot position, while Callum Lang might be in the number ten role. Jordan Jones, Josh Megennis and Martial Godo could be the front three for Wigan.
Expected Wigan line-up vs Man Utd
Tickle; Clare, Hughes, Morrison, Sessegnon; Adeeko, Shaw; Jones, Lang, Godo; Megennis
As for Man Utd, Ten Hag is set to continue with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation in this fixture with Onana likely to be in goal. Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans should be at the heart of Man Utd’s defence, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot are set to be the two fullbacks.
Kobbie Mainoo may start in the holding midfield position and alongside him, Christian Eriksen should continue in the engine room. Bruno Fernandes is guaranteed to be in the attacking midfield role so Scott McTominay will have to make do with a place on the bench.
Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho could be on the flanks, while Rasmus Hojlund should return in the number nine role after recovering from an illness that kept him out in the last game right before the new year. So, Antony will return to the bench following yet another disappointing display last time out.
Expected Man Utd line-up vs Wigan
Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot; Mainoo, Eriksen, Fernandes; Rashford, Hojlund, Garnacho
Megennis needs to be clinical in front of the goal to guide his side to victory against Man Utd. Along with the 33-year-old, Lang, Jones and Godo will have to display a great performance to help Wigan come away with a great win on Monday night. The back four will have to be solid for Wigan to keep United’s attack at bay and keep a clean-sheet.
As for United, Hojlund scored his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa and he will be hoping to continue his goal-scoring form on Monday night ahead of a crucial game against Tottenham Hotspur in the league.
Rashford has struggled to perform at his best this term but managed to put his name on the score-sheet last time out. So, the Englishman will be hoping to score goals in back-to-back games against Wigan.
Garnacho has been productive in front of the goal in recent games and the onus will be on the youngster’s shoulder to help his side earn a crucial victory in this game by finishing off his chances.
Fernandes is Man Utd’s main creative player so Ten Hag will be hoping that the Portuguese will be able to create chances for the attackers and finish those off if he gets any.
Although Man Utd have been struggling to showcase their best this season, they are the heavy favourite to win this game. So, anything but a victory in this game will be deemed as a very poor result for the visitors.
On the other hand, Wigan have endured a tough season so far this season as well so they might find it difficult to beat United. But, they will be at home and they should get something out of this game by taking home advantage as Ten Hag’s side struggle to perform well in a hostile environment.
Therefore, the Wigan fan could play a key role in helping their side play with extra-course and defeat the record Premier League champions. However, Man Utd have the firepower that could be too much for the hosts to handle so they might end up losing this game. But, it is going to be interesting to see how the game eventually unfolds on Monday night. Wigan 1-2 Man Utd
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