FA Cup Betting Preview: Manchester United vs. Wolves – January 15, 2020

by Boris Angelov | January 13, 2020 |

Ten days after a goalless first leg at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, Wolves will head to Old Trafford where Manchester United will hope to benefit of their home advantage as both sides aim to qualify for the FA Cup fourth round. The winners will then face either Watford or Tranmere Rovers in the fourth round.

The Red Devils will take on Wolves only a couple of days before the upcoming derby against Liverpool at Anfield and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be tempted to field some backup players as well as youngsters in this clash.

Same goes for Wolves' boss Nuno Espirito Santo – he could rotate the squad and will probably rest some of the first-team figures who were involved in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Manchester United Betting Preview

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to win against Wolves as the Norwegian lost two of his four meetings against Nuno Espirito Santo's side since the beginning of his Manchester United tenure. One of the defeats came in last season's FA Cup quarter-finals where Wolves beat United 2-1 at home and Solskjaer would love to achieve his first success over his Portuguese counterpart.

The Red Devils will try to boost their confidence before heading to Anfield with another victory, coming off a 4-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday. Marcus Rashford scored twice in his 200th Manchester United game and was subbed off early in the second-half as a precaution, which probably highlights his desire and Ole's intention to start him against Wolves on Wednesday.

However, Solskjaer will be keen to keep Rashford fit for the upcoming derby against Liverpool as the 22-years-old England international has been in excellent form this season. His brace against Norwich took him to 19 goals in all competitions on his 200th appearance for the club. Thus he has become the third youngest player to hit 200 games for Manchester United.

Rashford's prolific performance has been one of the highlights of another disappointing campaign for United. The victory over Norwich City ended a run of three games without a win and moved them into fifth place in the table, yet they are still five points off fourth Chelsea.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka will probably be rested here, while captain Ashley Young has been linked with a move to Serie A's Inter Milan, which could mean that right-back Diogo Dalot could get his first start since early-October.

Luke Shaw injured his hamstring in the warm-up of Saturday's 4-0 victory against Norwich City and the local teenager Brandon Williams is expected to start at left-back again.

Daniel James should return to the starting side here, while Another Academy graduate – Mason Greenwood – could lead the line, especially if Solskjaer decide to keep Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on the bench.

Juan Mata had a key role at the weekend and the experienced Spaniard could earn another start here. Meanwhile, Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay remain sidelined for the Red Devils, while Jesse Lingard is doubtful with an illness.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Eric Bailly returned from long-term injuries for the U23 squad, but they are not expected to make their first-team comeback so quickly.

Wolves Betting Preview

Wolves are seventh in the Premier League table and have a realistic opportunity to make it to the top-six at the end of the season, though they need to be more consistent against teams from the bottom half of the table.

Indeed, following a remarkable comeback to beat Manchester City 3-2 on the day after Boxing Day, Wolves are winless in four (2 draws and 2 defeats) and come off back-to-back home games (both draws) against Manchester United and Newcastle.

Also, Wolves were already beaten in the League Cup and their UEFA Europa League action continues next month so Nuno Espirito Santo's men could try to extend their FA Cup campaign a little longer.

They'll travel to Southampton on Saturday, host Liverpool next Thursday and then travel to Old Trafford again (1 February) before the short Premier League break in February. 

Morgan Gibbs-White has not featured in first-team action since the 2-1 win at Slovan Bratislava in October and even though this could be an opportunity for the young midfielder, Nuno will probably name the same central-midfield pair that have started in the first leg.

Portuguese veteran Joao Moutinho could be given a rest and Romain Saiss will likely start in midfield alongside Ruben Neves. 

Willy Boly and Bruno Jordao are both sidelined for Wolves, while Diogo Jota picked up a dead leg in the second-half of the 2-1 loss at Watford on New Year’s Day and will likely miss another one here.

Youngster Benny Ashley-Seal started in the first leg but top goalscorer Raul Jimenez will most likely lead Wolves' attack on Wednesday. The Mexican has not scored since the 3-2 win over Man City and will be eager to end his goal drought at Old Trafford.

Possible Starting Lineups of Manchester United and Wolves

Manchester United: Sergio Romero – Brandon Williams, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot – Fred, Andreas Pereira – Daniel James, Juan Mata, Tahith Chong – Mason Greenwood. (4-2-3-1)

Wolverhampton Wanderers: John Ruddy – Max Kilman, Conor Coady, Leander Dendoncker – Ruben Vinagre, Romain Saiss, Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty – Pedro Neto, Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore. (3-4-3)

Betting Prediction 

Unlike the first leg at Wolverhampton, this time we expect more action at Old Trafford, with both managers fielding a mix of experienced and younger players, and we recommend betting on both teams to score.

Both teams have scored in four of their last five head-to-head matches since Wolves returned to the English top-flight in 2018, with the goalless draw at Molineux Stadium on 4 January being the only exception.

Spooky Express Free Play: Both teams to score – Yes -125 @ Intertops for 6/10 Units 

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