In an exciting FA Cup third-round clash, Wigan Athletic hosts Manchester United at the DW Stadium. Wigan, known for their famous FA Cup win in 2012-13, faces a challenge against the 12-time FA Cup winners, Manchester United, who clinched the trophy in 2015-16.
Wigan comes into the game after a 1-1 draw against Barnsley in League One, leaving them in the 17th spot with 27 points.
Despite starting the season with a points deduction due to financial issues, Shaun Maloney’s side aims to rise from their current League One position and contend for promotion.
Their FA Cup journey this season includes wins against Exeter City and York City.
However, Wigan faced Manchester United in the FA Cup in 2017, suffering a 4-0 loss. The Latics have struggled against the Red Devils in recent encounters, although they famously defeated them 1-0 in a Premier League game in 2012.
Manchester United, keen on FA Cup success this season after last season’s final loss to Manchester City, have had a challenging campaign, currently sitting eighth in the Premier League.
The Red Devils suffered their 14th loss against Nottingham Forest but remain hopeful about their fortunes following the arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe as a minority shareholder.
Erik ten Hag’s team seeks redemption after a tough Champions League campaign and will look to perform well in the FA Cup. With Ratcliffe’s arrival boosting morale, Manchester United aims to progress in this competition.
Wigan will miss Tom Pearce and Jason Kerr due to injury, while Stephen Humphrys and Scott Smith are doubtful.
James Balagizi’s loan from Liverpool has ended, ruling him out for this match. Josh Magennis is expected to lead the attack, supported by Callum McManaman on the wings.
Manchester United will have Andre Onana available before his Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Sofyan Amrabat will join Morocco’s squad, and several injured players like Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, and others are expected to return soon.
Rasmus Hojlund is set to lead the line, with a strong XI likely to feature Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, and Bruno Fernandes.
Wigan Athletic: (4-2-3-1)
Clare, Hughes, Morrison, Sessegnon;
McManaman, Lang, Godo;
Manchester United: (4-2-3-1)
Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot;
Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford;
Prediction: Wigan Athletic 1-3 Manchester United
Manchester United, despite their inconsistent form, should prevail against Wigan Athletic due to their quality and depth. Wigan might put up a fight but is likely to succumb to the Red Devils’ firepower.