Manchester United vs WolvesFA Cup, KO: 19:45 Jan 15, 2020, Old Trafford
MANCHESTER UNITED'S trip to Molineux was supposed to be one of the ties of the FA Cup third round but instead we were treated to a dreary stalemate that has set up this replay with Wolves.
The Red Devils crashed out of the FA Cup in Wolverhampton last season and it looked like a repeat would be on the cards when Matt Doherty headed home late on.
But VAR spotted the defender has nodded the ball on to his hand, lining up a replay that neither side really wanted. With both teams in the last 32 of the Europa League, there will be no let up in the demands on their squads in 2020 and it will be interesting to see if either manager fields a weakened team. Big names in both squads failed to start at Molineux and that could be the case again here.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side remain maddeningly inconsistent, with a sparkling weekend win over Norwich coming hard on the heels of an embarrassing League Cup semi-final derby defeat.
I tipped Manchester City to win with both teams to score that night because of their superior quality in midfield but the ease of their 3-1 triumph was staggering.
Solskjaer's players seemed totally baffled by Pep Guardiola fielding a team without a recognised striker and spent most of the night chasing shadows.
But either side of that dismal defensive display they kept clean sheets against Wolves and Norwich so it's hard to know what to expect from them here.
Nuno Espirito Santo's men have gone off the boil a bit recently, going four games without a win, but have enough quality in their ranks to win at Old Trafford if they hit top form again.
How the bookies view it
Despite their flaky form, the bookies make United favourites at a best 19/20 with Sportingbet. Plenty of punters might take a nibble on Wolves at 3/1 with Marathonbet while another draw after 90 minutes is 13/5 with Bet365.
A lot will depend on how strong each team is but I fancy the Molineux side at that price. Like City, they boast a superior midfield to United, with Portuguese duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho a cut above the likes of Fred and Jesse Lingard. If you want to play it a little safer, Wolves are 17/20 at Marathonbet in the double chance market.
Recent head to head
Wolves are unbeaten in their last five games against United, with three draws and a couple of 2-1 victories to their name. Manchester United's last win over them was a thumping 5-0 victory at Molineux in 2012 (below) but they have won eight of the last nine games between these sides at Old Trafford.
Players to watch
Juan Mata has been criminally underused by Solskjaer and I was amazed he sat on the bench as City ran rings around United's midfield in the semi-final.
The Spaniard showed his class when handed a start against Norwich, with two superb assists, and that should be enough to keep him in the side. Mata is 4/1 in the anytime scorer market at Bet365 but is more likely for another assist, which Paddy Power price at 9/4.
Diogo Jota has netted twice against United the Portuguese forward remains an injury doubt so I'd be wary of backing him for a goal at 11/4 with Bet365. Youngster Pedro Neto has been getting a run in his absence and appeals at 4/1 for a goal with Betfred, if handed a start.
Anything else catch the eye?
For a decent long-odds option, Ladbrokes are offering 18/1 on both Nemanja Matic and Moutinho picking up cards, which is appealing if the Serbian veteran starts.
Despite the stalemate at Molineux, I fancy both teams to score, which is a best 22/25 at Marathonbet, while over 2.5 goals is also a tempting 109/100 with the same firm.
This FA Cup match between Manchester United and Wolves will be played on Jan 15, 2020 and kick off at 19:45