This week at United
It’s the final week before Manchester United’s 16-day-long winter break, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side still have to negotiate two tough fixtures before we have the chance to recuperate.
Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers lie in wait for the first team, while our women’s side, Under-23s and Under-18s will also be in action.
Here are all the confirmed key events coming up over the next seven days…
We’ll continue to provide reaction to Sunday’s 6-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup. After that superb fourth-round victory, we’ll discover our fifth-round opponents when the draw for the next stage takes place at 19:19 GMT, live on The One Show on BBC One. The Reds have been assigned ball number 1 in the hat, while the other numbers to look out for include 2 (Chelsea, last year’s fifth-round opponents), 6 (Northampton or Wayne Rooney’s Derby County), 13 (Manchester City) and 16 (Shrewsbury Town or Liverpool).
Prior to the draw, Sam Homewood will be hosting our live debate show Kicking Off, on MUTV, from 18:30 GMT. United supporters from around the world will, as usual, be giving their views on four selected topics, and you can vote for your favourite fan on the Official App.
Finally, we’d like to wish Lee Grant a very happy birthday. Our current goalkeeper, who signed from Stoke City in 2018, turns 37 today!
Attention shifts towards Wednesday’s crunch Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester City. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will discuss the tie and give an update on his squad when he appears in front of the media at the Aon Training Complex. Watch and follow what happens in the Official App, and on ManUtd.com, from 10:00 GMT.
The Reds travel to the Etihad Stadium for the second time in eight weeks, as we aim to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit to make it through to the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on 1 March. We memorably came back from a goal down to get past City at this stage a decade ago, so will history repeat itself on Wednesday when the game kicks off at 19:45 GMT?
Our women’s side also face a crunch cup semi-final on the same night, with the Continental Cup last-four tie against Chelsea Women taking place at Leigh Sports Village from 19:30 GMT. Casey Stoney’s side were knocked out at this stage by Arsenal last season and the Blues – led by star striker Sam Kerr - will provide formidable opposition, given they haven’t lost a competitive game yet in 2019/20.
As we look back on Wednesday night’s matches, we’ll also be taking the time to wish our former forward Dimitar Berbatov a happy 39th birthday. The Bulgarian, who memorably signed for the Reds on deadline day in 2008, made 149 appearances during a four-year spell at the club, scoring 56 goals. Have a good one, Berba! If you haven't heard his hilarious episode of UTD Podcast yet, we recommend you give it a listen on Deezer via manutd.com/podcasts.
Solskjaer is set to hold another press conference, as he previews Saturday evening’s Premier League clash with familiar foes Wolves. Later in the day, Neil Wood’s Under-23s are back in action in Premier League 2. The young Reds are currently second in the table, two points behind unbeaten West Ham United, and will be aiming to close the gap when we travel down to East Anglia to take on Norwich Under-23s at Carrow Road (19:00 GMT kick-off) in a game which is being shown live on MUTV.
United take on Wolves at Old Trafford at 17:30 GMT, in our final game before the winter break. It will be the third time we’ve played the Black Country outfit in less than a month, and Ole will be hoping for a repeat of what happened the last time Wanderers came to M16, when Juan Mata’s dinked finish secured FA Cup progress.
As it’s the home fixture which falls closest to the 6 February anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, the club and our supporters will be remembering the 23 people who lost their lives in the 1958 tragedy.
Earlier in the day, Neil Ryan takes his Under-18s to Brockhall to face Blackburn Rovers. Kick-off in this Under-18 Premier League game is scheduled for 11:00 GMT.
We’ll also be wishing former Reds midfielder Darren Fletcher a happy 36th birthday. The Scotland international made 342 appearances for United in over a decade at the club, winning five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and, of course, the Champions League, in 2008.
We close out an action-packed seven days with a Women's Super League fixture, as Casey Stoney's United team travel down to Adams Park to take on Reading at 14:00 GMT. Katie Zelem and co defeated the Royals 2-0 in the reverse fixture in October and a repeat of that scoreline would help us further consolidate fourth position.
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