FA Cup Preview: Tranmere v Man Utd

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could make changes to his team for their FA Cup trip to Tranmere Rovers this Sunday. Victor Lindelof was ill and missed a 2-0 home loss to Burnley on Wednesday, joining Marcus Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and top scorer Marcus Rashford on the sidelines.

However the Swede is set to return at Prenton Park.

“Victor will be available again,” Ole told MUTV. “He’s recovered so it’s one more to choose from. That’s good and I don’t think anyone suffered any bad injuries, no, in midweek.”

Tuanzebe is still definitely unavailable, although he is not too far away from getting back out on the pitch.

“Axel will be back after the midseason break, training with us,” added the boss. “He’s had a difficult spell as well because it’s taken so much longer than we thought. We had to make sure he is fine when he gets back.”

“It’s three more games to go until we get a break. We’re still only on the second day after the last game so it’s still a bit of a recovery day. We’ll prepare for Sunday and we just have to stay together, stick together and use the last bit of energy before we get a little bit of a break.”

Tranmere’s manager Micky Mellon gave his take on what the tie means to his club.

“I don’t think it’s an opportunity [for us to go through] because of the form United are in, “explained Mellon. “I know they have a threat. We have to make sure we are ready. We will give it everything we have got. There is no doubt we will be up against a good side.”

Manchester United travel to Prenton Park on Sunday and the match will kick-off at 10 am ET in the US on ESPN+ and at 15:00 GMT in the UK. In the UK it will be televised on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate. You can also see it on MUTV. Lee Mason will be the referee.

Credit: manutd.com

Solskjaer is clueless about how to solve the team's issues

As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked on from the sidelines during the 2-0 embarrassing loss to Burnley yesterday he had a look of despair. The Norwegian seems to be clueless on how to fix the many problems that has repeatedly occurred over the course of the season. Now that there has been injuries to key players like Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba it has just made those issues worse.

Solskjaer doesn’t seem to know how to motivate or inspire his players to win games especially when they encounter adversity. When we were behind 1-0 to Burnley late in the first half Ole should have made the right adjustments in order for United get the equalizing goal and then go on to get a second.

Although we dominated possession and created more chances than the opposition we still couldn’t score. In the second half we still had more of the possession and didn’t take our chances which our strikers or attacking midfielders didn’t capitalize on.

But our style of play or tactics changed little. Ole didn’t change his formation of 4-2-3-1 from the first half, nor did he bring on a player at half-time or very early in the second half. He could of told his midfielders to use some diagonal balls over the top of Burnley’s defense.

Whatever changes he might of made I didn’t see it. Maybe if he made subtle changes to the team’s set up they weren’t recognizable. It seems to me whenever the coach of the opposing team comes up with different or new tactics he doesn’t seem to know how to counteract that. Sometimes something like speeding up the overall play of the team or more movement on and off the ball are all simple tactics that can make a difference.

Even basic things like that can help you win a game. On the other hand the players were wasteful in front of goal. They also didn’t show effort, desire and determination to win the game with the exception of a few players like Aaron Wan-Bissaka who played well. If on a consistent basis as a coach you can’t provide methods or tactics on how to get them back into a game and help them win it then that’s not good coaching.

I believe Ole would eventually get fired. Whether it’s over the next few weeks or later on or at the end of the season, I think it’s just a matter of time. He is clearly out of his depth and had no previous experience as a senior manager in top flight football in Europe. Making the same mistakes like using the same 4-3-2-1 formation in each game also shows that he isn’t learning fast enough.

Other managers have seen our play as predictable, and they’re taking advantage of that. It’s time that the club hires an experienced manager that has much better pedigree that can coach this team. Someone like Mauricio Pochettino will do just fine for Manchester United fans.

Report: Man Utd 0 Burnley 2

Man Utd players react in disappointment after conceding a goal. Image: ESPN UK

Manchester United fell 2-0 at Old Trafford to Burnley on Wednesday, and this was the second consecutive defeat for the Red Devils.

United lost 2-0 against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday and this was just another embarrassing display for Manchester United. Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez were the scorers in each half for the visitors. United are still six points behind Chelsea and are in 5th place.

United had the best chances in the match especially in the first-half, but Anthony Martial and Juan Mata missed opportunities from two Aaron Wan-Bissaka crosses. Burnley would open the scoring in the 39th minute when Ben Mee flicked on Ashley Westwood’s free kick for Chris Wood to score.

In the second-half, Burnley scored a second in the 56th minute when Jay Rodriguez produced an amazing goal with the ball going into the top corner. There was a late goal that was ruled out against Luke Shaw.

This club has fallen very far down the abyss ever since Sir Alex left it in 2013. The owners of the club the Glazers and Ed Woodward has made things worse at the club.

With Solskjaer not having any top flight experience coupled with long-term injuries to key players has made an already serious problem even much worse.

Preview: Man Utd v Burnley

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided an update on his squad in advance of the Premier League clash with Burnley.The Reds face the Clarets at 20:15 GMT on Wednesday, at Old Trafford, and will look to bounce back after the 2-0 defeat to leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

“I don’t think there were any other knocks in that game [last weekend] so we should have the same players to be available against Burnley, which is positive,” Ole told us.

“Of course, we are stretched and some of the players have played a lot. And they’re improving for it and will reap the benefit and get stronger physically and mentally more robust. Of course, it’s great having Eric [Bailly], Diogo [Dalot] and Luke [Shaw] back in so we have got more choices. 

“It’s a blow Marcus [Rashford] being out but that’s football. It’s part and parcel of it. He’s been fantastic all season for us and now, unfortunately, we have to do without him.”

A FURTHER UPDATE

Shortly after the manager spoke to us on Tuesday morning, it was confirmed that Victor Lindelof had been sent home from training as a precaution due to illness. 

It remains to be seen if the Sweden international will be available for Wednesday night’s match.

ELSEWHERE IN THE SQUAD

The Reds fielded five defenders at Anfield, with Luke Shaw drafted into the side, but it would appear likely a more familiar 4-3-2-1 formation will be deployed at home in midweek.

Bailly and Phil Jones were both on the bench, along with Dalot, and it could be the case that more attacking options are also considered to be among the substitutes, including youngsters Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes.

In addition to Rashford, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay obviously remain on the sidelines, and Axel Tuanzebe has also been out.

Rashford’s absence will lead to more opportunities for Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata, who hit the winner in the Emirates FA Cup replay win over Wolves.

“Of course, Mason is going to get more chances now,” added Ole in his pre-match press conference. “Juan will have to step up again, so there will be more chances for the ones we’ve got in the squad.”

ELSEWHERE IN THE SQUAD

The Reds fielded five defenders at Anfield, with Luke Shaw drafted into the side, but it would appear likely a more familiar 4-3-2-1 formation will be deployed at home in midweek.

Bailly and Phil Jones were both on the bench, along with Dalot, and it could be the case that more attacking options are also considered to be among the substitutes, including youngsters Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes.

In addition to Rashford, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay obviously remain on the sidelines, and Axel Tuanzebe has also been out.

Rashford’s absence will lead to more opportunities for Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata, who hit the winner in the Emirates FA Cup replay win over Wolves.

“Of course, Mason is going to get more chances now,” added Ole in his pre-match press conference. “Juan will have to step up again, so there will be more chances for the ones we’ve got in the squad.”

WHAT ABOUT BURNLEY?

The visitors will be buoyed by their excellent 2-1 victory over high-flying Leicester City last time out, with Nick Pope’s penalty save from Jamie Vardy proving a turning point and Ashley Westwood bagging the winner.

“That’s nine points out of seven games and that doesn’t sound like a king’s ransom,” said Sean Dyche. “But, in the Premier League, that’s a pretty healthy return, especially against some of the teams we’ve faced.”

Clarets striker Ashley Barnes misses out after a hernia operation while Johann Berg Gudmundsson is doubtful with a thigh injury.

Wednesday’s match, which kicks off at 20:15 GMT, will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate. You can keep up to date with everything that happens through our live match web blog on ManUtd.com. You can watch the game in the US at 3:15 pm on NBC Sports online or NBCSN. Jon Moss will be the referee.

Manchester United is interested in Lille's Boubakary Soumare

Image: Getty Images

The Daily Mail says that Boubakary Soumare is apparently targeted by Manchester United during the January transfer window. United needs reinforcements to their midfield since Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba will be out for an extended period of time.

The 20-year-old French midfielder has admirers all across Europe and the young star has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Valencia. Soumare who is a France Under 21 international said he is interested in joining a new side but will not leave in January.

“Yes of course,” he told L’Equipe when asked if he wants to go. I have already discussed with the coach.”

“I told him very clearly. I have a very clear idea of where I want to go in my career. I want to do a full season here, yes.”

“I feel good, my teammates are helping me. I know where I am today and that suits me.”

“It is not time to leave – I don’t want to leave with regrets.”

Soumare has played 25 times this season in all competitions for Lille. including the Champions League. Lille is in fifth place in Ligue 1 presently.

If this report is true that United is pursuing Soumare, then this is just another dead end that Manchester United have found themselves in. Everyone knows its very difficult to get a deal done to sign players during the January transfer window.

We have 10 days left before we can sign a striker and a midfielder. If we don’t get both or one player in at least we may not finish in the top 4 this season. We need reinforcements urgently, and if we have anymore injuries things would get much worse for us.

Report: Liverpool 2 Man Utd 0

Mohamed Salah scored the second goal to seal the game. Image: The Daily Herald

Liverpool defeated Manchester United today 2-0 with goals by Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah. The men from Merseyside now have a 16-point lead at the top of the table.

Liverpool are still unbeaten this season with 21 wins from 22 games. United is the only team to take points of them after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October. They look virtually unstoppable now, and with a large lead at the top of the table its their title to lose now.

Virgil Van Dijk grabbed the first goal for Liverpool when he leapt over Brandon Williams from a corner by Trent Alexander Arnold and placed a powerful header past United goalie David De Gea. The goal came at the 14th minute mark and it wasn’t the kind of start that United wanted. From there on Liverpool’s confidence just continued to grow.

Roberto Firmino thought that he had made it 2-0 when on 24 minutes his curling shot bulged the net. But Van Dijk’s challenge on De Gea was ruled out to be a foul after a review by VAR. Georginio Wijnaldum had his goal disallowed after the linesman judged him to be offside.

United’s best opportunity was a cross from Aaron-Wan-Bissaka across the six-yard box, which was just out of reach of the arriving Andreas Pereira at the far post. Anthony Martial also smashed his shot over the bar in the 58th minute following a quick on-two with Pereira.

Then the killer goal came when Mohamed Salah scored on a breakaway in injury time that sealed the game for good.

As a Manchester United fan I have to be realistic. This wasn’t a game that United was going to win with the fantastic form that Liverpool are in at the moment. We just don’t have a team that is capable of challenging Liverpool or even Leicester right now.

I hope that we can sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon this month. We definitely need him because not only for the many goals he scores, but for his creativity too. Now there is even more bad news for United with the news that Marcus Rashford will be sidelined for at least 6 weeks plus rehabilitation time because of a double stress fracture in his back.

That’s big blow for us because he has 19 goals for so far in all competitions. Now, Ole said that he will look at some short-term options before the transfer window shuts on January 31. Manchester United needs at least 5 or 6 very good players if we are to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title and all the cup competitions next season.

Preview: Liverpool v Man Utd

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he will give Marcus Rashford more to time get fit in time for Sunday’s league game at Anfield. The striker was forced to leave the field during Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Wolves in the Emirates FA Cup, just 16 minutes after coming on as a substitute. The boss said he may not be ready for the visit to Anfield.

“I can tell you now, ” Ole replied when asked about our no. 10’s chances of featuring, during his pre-match press conference.

“As I said with Harry [Maguire] a few weeks ago, of course we’re going to give him the absolute amount of time to find out.”

“We’re going to do some more checks and treatment with him today. Yesterday of course was just a recovery day anyway and some treatment for him.”

“I haven’t seen him this morning, but I’m not going to hold my breath. I would probably think that he wouldn’t be ready, but let’s see. There’s still 48 hours, more than that, so let’s see.”

Other players that are still sidelined are Marcos Rojo and Scott McTominay. Also out of contention is Paul Pogba, having undergone surgery on an ankle injury at the start of the month, while Axel Tuanzebe is on the road to recovery after a month out.

Luke Shaw is also a doubt, after missing out on the Wolves replay. The left-back suffered a tight hamstring during the warm-up against Norwich City on Saturday.

Eric Bailly, who hasn’t featured for the first team this season after undergoing knee surgery in summer, played in a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday, as he continues his recovery.

Earlier this week, Solskjaer suggested the Ivorian could be ready to play against Liverpool, depending on how he got through that match, at the Aon Training Complex.

Craig Pawson will be the referee in charge of the game. The match will kick-off at 11:30 GMT on Sunday in the UK. It will air on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports main event. In the US its at 11:30 am and will be televised on NBCSN and online at NBCSports.com.

United agrees to a €1.5m fee of Ashley Young to Inter Milan

Image: The Daily Mail

Ashley Young is close to a move to Inter Milan after Manchester United agreed a fee with the Italian club according to ESPN.

Young is set to sign an 18-month loan deal with the option of an additional 12 months. He will fly to Italy on Friday to complete a medical. The 34-year-old will join up with his former teammates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

Young had informed club officials that it was his desire to leave and go to Inter after he rejected an offer from the club. The left-back made 261 appearances for United and won a Premier League title in 2013.

I am happy that United agreed to this deal because Ashley Young in the last two seasons you’ve seen a decline in his performances, and he may be better suited to play in Italy’s top flight than in the hectic pace of the Premier League. With Brandon Williams now on the rise at that left-back position and we also have Luke Shaw there too it made sense to sell him.

I believe this was the right time for him to leave. Young has been a very good servant for United, but he just doesn’t have the same pace or quality anymore. I hope that he will play on a regular basis for his new club and that he will enjoy himself there and hopefully he’ll win a few more titles in the process.

Juan Mata looks like a player reborn

Juan Mata in the FA Cup replay against Wolves was magnificent. His well taken goal in our 1-0 win against the visitors was a touch of class. Also he had an assist from a cross United scored from. In these last two games his form has been fantastic. The Spanish midfielder hasn’t started too many games this season.

However I am sure that once he continues in this good form, I believe that he’ll certainly get more playing time. He is providing the guile and creativity in midfield that we have been lacking this season. With Pogba out, he’s the man that we’ll have to rely on to help us create some of our goals.

Hopefully, we can get Bruno Fernandes in midfield soon, as United is presently negotiating with his club Sporting Lisbon. According to ESPN, Manchester United and Fernandes has already agreed personal terms. Both clubs are now trying to sort out the details of the deal. Once the Portuguese international has signed for United he would certainly help us in the creativity department. He also is an excellent goal scorer.

Mata whose form from last season and even this season hasn’t been good is now like a new player for us. We need his guile, creativity and experience to help us get into the top four places. We’re still in with a chance of winning one or two cup competitions this term. I hope Mata’s good form continues right to the end of the season.

Report: Manchester United 1 Wolves 0

Juan Mata celebrates his winning goal. Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United was victorious over Wolves in their FA Cup replay at Old Trafford. Juan Mata was the match winner.

The Spaniard scored the only goal of the match and we will face either Tranmere Rovers or Watford, who had their replay postponed on Tuesday night. The midfielder’s brilliant chip over goalie John Ruddy made the difference in a moment of class. Wolves seemed to have gotten the lead when Pedro Neto put the ball in the back of the net, but VAR canceled it out.

Mata passed a through ball for Daniel James, and James flicked the ball past Ruddy, but the keeper still managed to push it out of danger. But a hand ball by striker Raul Jimenez made his goal invalid. Mata forced another save from Ruddy, as United tried to get the first goal.

In the second-half, Mata’s shot was saved, and James’s low drive went just wide. After 64 minutes, Ole brought on Marcus Rashford and Andreas Pereira for James and Greenwood. Harry Maguire did an excellent defensive job and his ball fell kindly for Martial, who eventually passed the ball through to Mata. He then dinked the ball over Ruddy to make it 1-0 to United. Wolves looked dangerous a couple of times later on as they pressed for an equalizer.

Neves smashed a long-range shot just over the bar, and Andreas forced a wonderful save from the keeper. It was another clean sheet for United that will hopefully give us a boost in confidence for the challenging games ahead.