Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted at formation change for the FA Cup clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Manchester United will be keen to bounce back with a victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup Quarterfinals at Molineux Stadium on Saturday in a late kickoff. In their last outing on the road, the Red Devils were defeated 2-0 by Arsenal in the Premier League last Sunday.
Even though United hit the post twice against Unai Emery’s side, they only had certain spells and did not stay consistent throughout the game which helped Arsenal’s course to sit back and defend when needed. The Norwegian played with a back three against the Gunners and it backfired as the wingers had much more freedom to penetrate the defense.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 16, 2019
United will be without their attackers Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, and Romelu Lukaku for the trip to Wolverhampton, while the academy youngster Mason Greenwood has been ill throughout the week.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez confirmed that Romelu Lukaku will miss the game against Wolverhampton although Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata trained last week, they were not spotted in full training. The Red Devils are hopeful for Jesse Lingard to return against Watford after the International break.
Wolverhampton Wanderers normally play with three at the back. However, it will be interesting to see how their opponents will approach this game as Solskjaer has hinted at tactical and formation change on Saturday.
Ashley Young, who received his yellow card against Arsenal and Chelsea on a bounce will be suspended for this clash. Youngster Diogo Dalot will be slotted in the right flank of the defense, and Luke Shaw will take up his conventional left-back position.
Solskjaer could be forced to play with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in the front, with Paul Pogba acting as a supplier to those two. Phil Jones is available after six games and could form the partnership with Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling at the back.
“Ashley’s been fantastic,” Solskjaer said. “But we’ve got Diogo, Phil Jones can play there [at right-back], so we’ve got players who could play there. We might even swap to a different system, you never know.”
— Joe Edwards (@JoeEdwards_Star) March 15, 2019
Transcript of the first part of Solskjaer’s press conference ahead of Wolves. Gives an injury update, reflects on the Arsenal defeat and gives his thoughts on Scholes’ resignation: https://t.co/BGNDAnUGIQ pic.twitter.com/UFiNprk6Cw
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) March 15, 2019
United prevailed away from home at Arsenal in January and recorded a first Stamford Bridge triumph in over six years last month to set up another testing tie at seventh-placed Wolves. Given United’s big-game prowess under Solskjaer, a potential loss at Wolves would feel anti-climactic.
“Any game you lose is a big anti-climax,” Solskjaer stressed. “It’s the worst feeling you can have. And that’s maybe the only good thing about that Arsenal defeat, to feel how much it hurt.
“Because [the first leg defeat to] PSG, we still had a chance to correct it and the last game I lost [before that] was against Ranheim on 26th August, so it was a long time ago.
“To win trophies you’ve got to win at least one or two really tough games. They’re like defining moments. We beat Liverpool, we beat Chelsea, we beat Arsenal back then [in 1999], and you think, ‘We deserve a little bit of luck in the draw next time’.
“But Wolves away, what a difficult game that can be. So comparisons? Well we’re not challenging to win the league this year but we are challenging for the other two trophies.”
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) March 16, 2019
United were gifted two goals by PSG in their Champions League round-of-16 second leg comeback last week and were awarded a penalty via the Video Assistant Referee. United were luckless to concede a dubious penalty at Arsenal on Sunday and Solskjaer dismissed the notion he is a lucky manager.
“I think I’ve answered that question quite well here,” he added. “I think you earn your luck, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good eh?”
If Manchester United manage to qualify for the next round, they could face Manchester City in the Semifinals of the Emirates FA Cup. Pep Guardiola’s men take on Swansea City in this competition.