Tom McGarry's tips for Monday night's FA Cup clash at the DW Stadium include a win for the Premier League side with a midfielder finding the net.
The FA Cup third round weekend will reach a conclusion on Monday when League One Wigan Athletic, a team steeped in recent cup history, take on Premier League giants Manchester United.
Wigan may be languishing in the lower reaches of the third tier these days, but they were FA Cup winners as recently as 2013, beating Manchester City in the final, and have taken several top-flight scalps in the competition since.
United will be doing everything they can to avoid being the latest name added to that list, but the Red Devils have won only one of their last six across all competitions and have struggled for consistency all season.
Wigan Athletic v Manchester United best bets
United may have to grind it out
It has been a tough first-half of the season for United and their manager Erik ten Hag, as their defeat at Nottingham Forest last time out was their 14th loss of the campaign across all competitions.
The Red Devils have also gone five away games without a win and they may have to adopt a patient approach at the DW Stadium, as Wigan have been defensively sound on home soil of late, conceding just once across their last five on their own patch.
The Latics have the best defensive record of any side in the bottom half of the League One standings and they should be able to limit United’s attacking threat, especially as the visitors have scored just once across their last four away fixtures.
However, it must be remembered there are still two divisions between these two sides and eventually United’s Premier League quality should tell, but do not expect to see more than a couple of goals scored.
Clare tends to walk disciplinary tightrope
Wigan are likely to do a lot of defending during this match and right-back Sean Clare could face a particularly busy evening, especially as he may come directly up against both Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford at various stages of the contest.
Clare is a combative full-back and has picked up more yellow cards (eight) than any Wigan player this season, with three of those cautions coming across his last four appearances.
Latics manager Shaun Maloney will want his side to get at United from the off and Clare may well feel the wrath of referee Anthony Taylor at some stage of the contest.
McTominay may save United’s blushes
Scoring goals has been an issue for United all season, as only the bottom two in the Premier League, Burnley and Sheffield United, have netted fewer top-flight goals than Ten Hag’s team.
Forwards Rashford, Rasmus Hojlund and Anthony Martial have scored only five league goals combined this term, the same amount as midfielder Scott McTominay, who is United’s leading scorer in the division and he may also provide their main goal threat in this cup tie.
The Scotland international has six goals across all competitions for United in 2023/24, while the seven goals he struck for his country across the last calendar year also suggest he could be a big threat at the DW.