How Manchester United should line up in FA Cup tie against Tranmere – why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must play a strong team

It’s not a good time to be a Manchester United fan.

Their midweek defeat at home to Burnley means they are having their worst ever season in the Premier League.

NINTCHDBPICT000556405173 - How Manchester United should line up in FA Cup tie against Tranmere – why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must play a strong team
Things look pretty bleak at Old Trafford
AFP or licensors

They face a tall order to reach the final of the Carabao Cup having lost their first leg tie 3-1 at home to Manchester City.

Goals will be very hard to come by too with striker Marcus Rashford is a long-term absentee after sustaining a back injury earlier this month.

Things are going all wrong off the pitch too as it looks like their pursuit of Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes is dead in the water.

An FA Cup tie at League Two Tranmere may be viewed as a welcome break from all the chaos but this is a match Man United could lose.


  • You can listen to full commentary of Tranmere vs Manchester United LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 3pm

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the LIVE commentaries coming up on talkSPORT, below…

  • Brentford vs Leicester (Saturday, 12:45pm) – talkSPORT
  • Southampton vs Tottenham (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT
  • Hull vs Chelsea (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Manchester City vs Fulham (Sunday, 1pm) – talkSPORT
  • Tranmere vs Manchester United (Sunday, 3pm) – talkSPORT
  • Shrewsbury vs Liverpool (Sunday, 5pm) – talkSPORT

It’s a competition Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ought to take seriously as the FA Cup is realistically their best chance of silverware this term.

With this in mind, talkSPORT.com has had its say on how Man United should line up for their trip to Merseyside.

lineup 2 1 - How Manchester United should line up in FA Cup tie against Tranmere – why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must play a strong team
How Man United should line up against Tranmere, according to talkSPORT.com

You may think Man United should rest more senior players with the second leg against Man City next Wednesday, but frankly they’ll need a miracle to get past Pep Guardiola’s men.

Solskjaer should put his eggs in the FA Cup basket.

Tranmere shouldn’t cause them many problems but the most effective way to make sure that’s the case is to pick a strong team.

Having said that, we feel the manager can afford to rest the likes of David de Gea, with Sergio Romero more than capable of doing a job against League Two opposition.

Harry Maguire has been playing like he’s been carrying an injury so sitting out this match would do him good. This means Eric Bailly can make his long-awaited return to the side, with Solskjaer firmly suggesting he will play the Ivory Coast international.

NINTCHDBPICT000555724866 e1579876874690 - How Manchester United should line up in FA Cup tie against Tranmere – why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must play a strong team
Bailly recently had his contract at the club extended by a further two years to 2022
Getty Images – Getty

Victor Lindelof, who missed the Burnley match with illness, can play alongside Bailly.

Tranmere will no doubt try to rough their opponents up so Solskjaer should play Brandon Williams, a player who’s not afraid of a big tackle or confrontation despite being 19-years-old, to match Rovers’ aggression.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been solid at right-back so should continue to play there.

One defensive midfielder is the best course of action for Man United. They are capable of taking the game away from Tranmere early doors so should look to play on the front foot.

NINTCHDBPICT000550100231 e1579877079550 - How Manchester United should line up in FA Cup tie against Tranmere – why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must play a strong team
Greenwood and Martial can have a lot of fun at Tranmere
Getty Images – Getty

We’ve gone for Nemanja Matic in the holding role as he is not erratic as erratic as Fred.

Andreas Pereira can play in a more advanced role while Juan Mata and Dan James, both capable of causing Tranmere huge problems, can go either side of him.

Man United can get a lot of joy with two strikers and Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are both competent players.

We’ve seen Martial and Rashford can be very good together and it’s a good opportunity to experiment and see what Greenwood will be like alongside the Frenchman.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *