Manchester United remain in the hat for the FA Cup fourth round after Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Wolves at Molineux.
But that is the best thing that can be said about the game, which was a drab encounter where United failed to get a shot on target.
That’s the first time that has happened in domestic competition for five years and raises questions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of the visit of Manchester City.
We’ve picked out three as United go in search of a spot in the EFL Cup final with the first leg of the semi-final against their bitter rivals.
What’s the formula for beating Guardiola at home?
United have a decent derby record away from home and of course won the first Premier League meeting of the season 2-1 last month.
But United have beaten City just once at Old Trafford during Pep Guardiola’s reign – a 1-0 EFL Cup victory in 2016.
United have been able to sit back and counter on the road, but a similar approach on their own patch has just seen City boss those matches.
Solskjaer’s reign has been punctuated by strong performances in big games at various points where United have lost their way and he needs to find the formula for another here.
Does Solskjaer trust Brandon Williams?
Solskjaer fielded Luke Shaw in the aforementioned victory at the Etihad Stadium, but the former Southampton man has struggled for form lately.
The difference in how Shaw failed to deal with Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe on New Year’s Day and how Brandon Williams pocketed Adama Traore on Saturday was marked.
Solskjaer has been reluctant to give young players like Williams and Mason Greenwood extended runs in the side and has largely taken them out of the limelight for the bigger games.
It remains to be seen whether he will break that habit with Williams against City, who of course possess huge threats out wide.
How best to deal with City’s 3-5-2?
United’s Etihad victory exposed cracks in City’s defence, which had been evident for months until that point.
In response, City have changed to a 3-5-2 formation of late, seeking to plug the defensive gaps while still dominating possession.
That poses a different question for Solskjaer, who has turned to a three-man backline himself at times this season – most notably in stunning Liverpool at Old Trafford, when the Reds dropped their only points of the Premier League season so far.
United were unable to breach Wolves’ defensive trio on Saturday and Solskjaer needs to find a better solution against City.
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