Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Wigan Athletic v Manchester United Match Preview: Kick-off Time, Team News, Predicted line-up, TV Channel and Score Prediction

Amad, Manchester United v Wigan Athletic William Bitbiri

Manchester United begin their 2024 with a short trip to the DW stadium in the FA Cup 3rd round. United will be hoping a new year will bring greater fortunes in the competition that saw them defeated in the final last year. Erik ten Hag’s men made it to Wembley but were beaten comprehensively by Manchester City.

Competition: FA Cup
Venue: DW Stadium
Kick Off: 20:15 UK Time
TV Channel: ITV

How do Manchester United look?

It seems a while since United closed out 2023 with a defeat at Nottingham Forest. For United fans the week since the dismal display at the City ground has been a welcomed break. United’s performance followed a similar pattern to fixtures prior. However, Ten Hag’s side have an opportunity to begin the new year with the added optimism of cup glory.

The new year has seemingly come with the good tidings that United fans have been waiting for. Both Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro have returned to full training and are in contention to make their anticipated returns. Martinez hasn’t made an appearance since September after suffering a relapse from an ankle injury that ended his season last year prematurely. Casemiro has been missing since November.

Both Casemiro and Martinez will be welcomed returns as United hope to garner their form in the second half of the season. The pair didn’t necessarily replicate their displays that brought great hope last season, this term, but will come as a boost. The reality is as Ten Hag has suggested, United have been unable to mount performances because of key absences.

The Reds will be without Sofyan Amrabat who will be away with Morroco preparing for AFCON. Andre Onana has avoided a similar absence after an amicable agreement was found between United and the Cameroon FA. Onana will be available for United against Wigan and Tottenham in the following fixture. The goalkeeper is set to link up with his national team following the Spurs game.

Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, and Anthony Martial are all expected to be unavailable.

Predicted XI

Andre Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Evans, Varane, Dalot, Mainoo, McTominay, Fernandes, Amad, Hojlund, Garnacho

Opposition: Wigan Athletic

Wigan are 18th in League One with a four-point buffer above the relegation zone. Shaun Maloney has the task of avoiding back-to-back relegations for the Ticks. They last played United in the fourth round of the same competition in 2017. On that occasion, United were victorious winning 4-0 but Wigan haven’t beaten United since April 2012.

Key Stats: Wigan v Manchester United

Manchester United have won 18 of their 19 meetings with Wigan in all competitions, with the exception being a 1-0 away loss in the Premier League in April 2012.

Since the start of the 2013-14 campaign (their first after relegation from the Premier League), Wigan have progressed from more FA Cup ties against Premier League opponents than any other side from outside the top-flight (6).

Manchester United have been eliminated from just two of their last 38 FA Cup third round ties, with both defeats in that run coming in home games (0-1 v Leeds in 2010, 1-2 v Swansea in 2014).

Wigan have won their last five FA Cup games played on a Monday, most recently a 1-0 win over Manchester City in February 2018.

Prediction

It’s a new year so United literally have to put the past behind them. Now, the players have the added incentive of having to impress a new footballing hierachy at the club. Noithing quite says ‘impressing INEOS’ like playing well. For that reason, coupled with the fact that Wigan are in poor form, a good result should come as a formality for United.

Wigan Athletic 0-3 Manchester United

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