Manchester United vs Reading – Match Preview & Prediction

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Manchester United are once again set to play in a cup competition, but this it is the FA Cup. In the fourth round of the oldest football competition in the world, the Red Devils will host Reading, the Championship side who will be coming to Old Trafford to try and make a huge upset. Erik Ten Hag’s side remains in great form, after their win in midweek against Nottingham Forest. But following that 3-0 victory, it is time for the Devils to get another one and continue their good cup runs this season. While on the verge of reaching the League Cup final, United could also go deep in this competition and that is why no one among the team or staff will underestimate the Royals.

Team News

There are numerous problems which will keep Erik Ten Hag’s options at a lower number. Diogo Dalot will miss the game as he still has his hamstring problem, while Donny van de Beek and Axel Tuanzebe are long-term absentees due to knee and back injuries, respectively. Luke Shaw missed the last match due to illness and that will be the case once again. Anthony Martial could miss this match too, due to his leg problem, while Jadon Sancho is back in team’s trainings but probably still remains some way off of featuring in first-team matches. All of these issues could give Ten Hag less options to choose from, although Harry Maguire could get back in the starting lineup.

As for Reading, they have their fair share of problems. Andy Carroll will miss out on the match due to ankle injury, while the knee will stop Naby Sarr from featuring. Sam Hutchinson and Liam Moore are also out, as well as Ovie Ejaria. Right-back Kelvin Abrefa could be back in the team following his his knee injury. Whatever the case, this will not be an easy match for the Royals.

Form Guide

Manchester United were in amazing form in the last couple of months, before a couple of games in which they did not win. First, that was in the league against Crystal Palace, and the 1-1 draw was followed by a late 3-2 loss against Arsenal. But these two games did not change the great atmosphere surrounding the team, with the Red Devils comfortably dispatching Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the first leg of the League Cup semifinal.

Now they are set to face Reading as big favourites in a short series of matches where they will be expected to get several victories, until the first Europa League match against Barcelona in mid-February. Reading, the Championship side, are in a much different mood. They won just one of their last five matches, a 2-0 victory against Watford in the FA Cup. They are 16th in the Championship, with results such as the 4-0 loss at Stoke City and 1-0 loss against West Brom, or a 2-2 draw at home against QPR. Not an ideal preparation before facing United at Old Trafford.

Predicted Outcome

Considering everything, we predict Manchester United will comfortably beat Reading 3-0, the same as they did Nottingham Forest few days ago. Simply put, the gulf in quality is so big that Ten Hag’s team should not have any problems to reach the fifth round.

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