Manchester United will be hoping they can continue their FA Cup run when they travel to Tranmere Rovers on Sunday.
The Reds Devils just about got through the third round, beating fellow Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 but they needed a replay to do so. However, since that win, United have lost their past two games, most recently to Burnley at Old Trafford.
League One Tranmere Rovers also needed a replay to secure their fourth-round spot, beating Premier League side Watford 2-1 at Prenton Park after extra-time. That win came on Thursday with the initial replay postponed due to poor conditions at Tranmere’s ground, meaning the League One side have had just a few days to prepare for United’s visit.
Can they cause another cup upset or will United reach the fifth round of the FA Cup for the sixth season in a row?
Read on for our Tranmere vs Man Utd preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.
When is Tranmere vs Man Utd and where can I watch live?
Competition: FA Cup
Venue: Prenton Park
Date: Sunday, 26 January 2020
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 1
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23 January 2020: Tranmere 2-1 Watford (FA Cup)
18 January 2020: Tranmere 1-2 Ipswich (League One)
11 January 2020: Southend 0-0 Tranmere (League One)
07 January 2020: Tranmere 1-2 Leicester U21s (EFL Trophy)
04 January 2020: Watford 3-3 Tranmere (FA Cup)
22 January 2020: Man Utd 0-2 Burnley (Premier League)
19 January 2020:: Liverpool 2-0 Man Utd (Premier League)
15 January 2020:: Man Utd 1-0 Wolves (FA Cup)
11 January 2020:: Man Utd 4-0 Norwich (Premier League)
07 January 2020:: Man Utd 1-3 Man City (Carabao Cup)
Ones to watch
Tranmere: Connor Jennings
Tranmere haven’t been great in League One and sit in the relegation zone after 25 games. One of the reasons for their low standing, on top of playing fewer games than some of the teams above them, is their lack of goals.
Rovers currently have four different players as their joint-top scorers on four goals, and they will be relying on these to boost their chances of an upset. One of those players is Connor Jennings, who is expected to lead the line on Sunday having dropped into a slightly deeper role against Watford on Thursday.
The 28-year-old will be tired, having played 120 minutes, but Tranmere need him to build on his one FA Cup goal so far this season.
Key stat: Connor Jennings has already scored against a Manchester United side this season, netting in Tranmere’s EFL Trophy win over the developmental squad.
Man Utd: Juan Mata
The injury to Marcus Rashford is expected to see Juan Mata’s playing time increase over the next few months after the Spaniard often found himself left on the bench.
Mata has started both of Man Utd’s FA Cup games so far this season, scoring the only goal of the replay against Wolves to set up this tie. The Spaniard did start against Burnley in midweek but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may opt to keep him in the line-up to provide some much-needed experience up-front.
Although Mata’s influence has decreased over the years, the Spaniard is still capable of creating something magical and he may be key for a Man Utd win.
Key stat: Juan Mata has scored 11 FA Cup goals in 32 games for Manchester United and Chelsea combined.
Tranmere will be boosted by Kane Wilson extending his loan deal until the end of the season, meaning he will be available to face Man Utd having also recently returned from injury.
However, they look set to be without Ishmael Miller, Mark Ellis and Evan Gumbs and may need to make some changes with the quick turn around from their replay.
Predicted XI: Davies; Ridehalgh, Clarke, Monthe; Caprice, Perkins, Danns, Wilson; Morris; Ferrier, Jennings.
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Victor Lindelof looks set to return after missing the defeat to Burnley with an illness and could be joined by Eric Bailly at the heart of Man Utd’s defence.
Mason Greenwood is likely to lead the line while Juan Mata may be the experienced head in an otherwise young, attacking side.
Predicted XI: Romero; Dalot, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, Pereira; Gomes, Lingard, Mata; Greenwood.
The biggest talking point about this game is the condition of Prenton Park’s pitch. The poor conditions due to weather was the reason Tranmere’s third-round replay against Watford was postponed until Thursday and that was not the first game scheduled at Prenton Park to be called off this year.
Watford and Tranmere had to make do with the conditions and so will Man Utd, but it means the Reds Devils are likely to struggle to create anything too magical — though they haven’t been doing that on the pristine Premier League pitches lately.
Tranmere are going to make things extremely difficult for their visitors but Man Utd should just about have enough.