FA Youth Cup semi-final preview
Manchester United Under-18s will host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in the FA Youth Cup semi-final on Wednesday 9 March, and UK and Ireland-based supporters can watch the game for free.
Our young Reds have triumphed over Scunthorpe United, Reading, Everton, and Leicester City to reach this stage, while Wolves have defeated Brighton & Hove Albion, Salford City, Crystal Palace, and Tottenham Hotspur.
HOW YOU CAN WATCH
Tickets for the game have now sold out, but don't worry - you can still follow all of the action live on MUTV, ManUtd.com and the United app.
Build-up will begin at 18:30 GMT, ahead of kick-off at 19:00 GMT.
Keep tabs on the team news via the United App, where we'll also post half-time and full-time details of the match, as well as highlights and reaction after it has concluded.
THE STORY SO FAR
Alejandro Garnacho laid down a marker early on in the competition with an acrobatic finish in front of the Stretford End proving the highlight of an entertaining 4-2 third-round win over Scunthorpe United. The other goals came from Sam Mather, Maximillian Oyedele and Charlie McNeill.
Travelling to Berkshire to take on Reading in the fourth round, Mather and McNeill found the net again, as well as Kobbie Mainoo, as United stormed into a three-goal first-half lead. The Royals claimed a deserved consolation goal in the second half.
Everton initially proved tough opposition in the fifth round, with Francis Okoronkwo’s powerful 12th-minute shot giving the Toffees a well-earned lead. However, United settled into the game and responded quickly, first with McNeill’s converted penalty in the 13th minute and then, 15 minutes later, when Mainoo headed home a well-worked move involving McNeill and Marc Jurado on the right-wing.
United’s dominance grew after the break at Old Trafford and Mather extended the side's lead from close range. Moments before full-time, Garnacho scored a fantastic solo goal on the counter-attack, storming down the left wing before cutting inside to finish past Patrick Nash in the Toffees goal.
It was the Spanish winger who took hold of the quarter-final, too. Like Everton, Leicester City headed in front, through Chris Popov. Garnacho’s low free-kick curler brought the scores level before the break, and United controlled the second half. It nevertheless seemed to be heading towards extra-time but Garnacho emphatically finished after Mainoo’s excellent pass to secure United’s semi-final berth.
Wolves are fellow competitors in the U18 Premier League North, although we are yet to face the Molineux side in the league this campaign, with two fixtures scheduled to be played in April, home and away.
The two sides have met in the U18 Premier League Cup. Back in October, goals from Rhys Bennett, Isak Hansen, McNeill and Oyedele gave United a 4-2 win, helping us towards the quarter-finals, where we were beaten by Chelsea.
As for the visitors’ FA Youth Cup run, Steve Davis’s team entered the competition at the third-round stage and triumphed 4-1 over Salford City, setting up an away tie at Selhurst Park where they beat Crystal Palace 6-5 on penalties, having only equalised through Nathan Fraser in the 93rd minute.
Tyler Roberts's double, his second of this season's competition, helped Wolves to a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round. They followed that up with a 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion. The goals came from Oliver Tipton, Fraser and Harvey Griffiths.
This is Wolves’ first FA Youth Cup semi-final appearance in 17 years. They have won the competition on one occasion, back in 1958, and have been defeated finalists on a further four occasions, including twice against United, in 1953 and 1954.
FA YOUTH CUP HISTORY
United are the most successful club in FA Youth Cup history, winning the competition on 10 occasions (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1964, 1992, 1995, 2003 and 2011) and reaching a further four finals (1982, 1986, 1993, 2007).
The club's best performance in the last few years was a semi-final appearance in 2019/20.
FA YOUTH CUP RULES
Only players between the age of 15 and 18 on 31 August 2021 are eligible to take part.
When a match is drawn after 90 minutes, an extra 30 minutes shall be played (15 minutes each way), if the score is still level at the end of extra time, the winner shall be determined by a penalty shootout.
ELSEWHERE IN THE DRAW
UNITED v Wolves
Nottingham Forest v Chelsea