Manchester United will travel to Merseyside to face Tranmere Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds belatedly discovered the identity of their opponents last night when Tranmere’s postponed replay with Watford was finally played.

The match represents a genuine banana skin for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and throws up a host of questions. We’ve picked out three of the most pressing.

(Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

How many changes does Solskjaer make?

United’s squad has been hit by injuries and many of the players looked shattered, in need of a break and short on ideas during the midweek loss to Burnley.


Solskjaer might view an assignment against lower league opposition as the ideal opportunity to rotate, but the FA Cup represents United’s most realistic chance of silverware this season.

With Manchester City looming next week, Solskjaer sorely needs a win to avoid spiraling even further into crisis.

Team selection is crucial and Solskjaer must get the balance right.

(Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Does Solskjaer risk Bailly?

Eric Bailly is in contention for a return to action having missed every match of the season so far.

But the Prenton Park pitch is not the best, and may not represent the ideal surface on which for a player to make their return from a knee injury.

Bailly needs to be carefully managed given his injury history, but Solskjaer appears keen to play the Ivorian on Sunday.

Only time will tell whether it’s the right call but throwing Bailly in onto a boggy surface could be a decision laced with risk.

(Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Can United stop the rot?

United have lost their last two matches 2-0 and the nature of the Burnley performance has pushed the club to crisis point.

They are in a no-win situation here; a victory is the minimum requirement and anything else intensifies the severity of the situation Solskjaer finds himself in.

United have to stop the rot here, because the trip to the Etihad Stadium looms large.

If Solskjaer thinks the past few days have been hard, a defeat to League One opposition would see the scrutiny go to another level.

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