Old Trafford in Manchester will be the setting this weekend as Manchester United of the Premier League hosts second-tier Championship League side Reading in the third round of the English FA Cup. The game takes place on Saturday, January 7th with a streaking United seeking its seventh straight win.
United downed West Ham 2-0 in London on Monday while Reading is coming off of a 3-2 away win at Bristol City the same day. Man City is the defending FA Cup champions.
Manchester United vs Reading – 5Dimes Soccer Betting Line:
- 5Dimes currently lists Man United as the favorites to win the game at -416 with Reading +1263 and a draw at +569
Manchester United vs Reading – Head to Head:
- The last time these two teams met was in March of 2013 with Man United winning 1-0 at home in the Premier League. They also won 4-3 at Reading in league play that season and United won 2-1 at home in the FA Cup. Reading’s lone win over United was 2-1 at home in the FA Cup in January of 1927. This will be the 14th FA Cup game between the two sides in their 20th meeting. Overall, these two sides have met just 19 times in the past with Man United winning 11, losing one and drawing the other seven.
Manchester United – A Closer Look:
Man United enters the weekend in sixth place in the Premier League after 20 games with 39 points from 11 wins, six draws and three defeats. They have 31 goals to their name and have allowed 19 against. They won their first three league matches of the campaign and now have eight victories in their past 17 league games and seven wins in the past 12, which includes six in a row. They’re also undefeated in the past 13 matches overall with 14 victories in their past 23 outings in all competitions. These 13 games consist of 10 wins and three draws.
Seven of United’s wins this season include four in the Europa League and three in the English League Cup so it appears the team has turned the corner even though they do have six draws in their past 14 league games. Man United is still 10 points behind league-leading Chelsea though. But they’re just three points back of fourth-place Man City and Tottenham and a spot in next season’s European Champions League. Manager Jose Mourinho has just a couple of injury problems to deal with as striker Wayne Rooney is questionable and forward James Wilson could miss the rest of the season. Also, defender Eric Bailly is away at the African Cup of Nations.
Reading – A Closer Look:
Reading enters the match in third place in the second-tier Championship League as they hope to win promotion back to the Premier League at the end of the campaign. The team has 46 points out of a possible 72 after 24 games. They have 14 wins, four draws and six defeats with 36 goals for and 32 allowed. Reading has eight wins and two losses in their past 10 matches including three straight victories. The club is eight points behind league-leading Brighton, six back of second-place Newcastle and six up on seventh-place Derby County.
Dutchman Jap Staam, a former defender with Man United, is the current manager at Reading. They Reading beat Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup last season and managed to reach the final eight of the tournament. They were then beaten 2-0 at home by Premier League team Crystal Palace in the quarterfinals. Palace then went on to lose to Man United in extra time in the Cup Final at Wembley. Reading also did well in the In 2014/15 FA Cup competition as they made it as far as the semi-finals where they lost to Arsenal 2-1 in extra time.
Manchester United vs Reading – Takeaway:
Man United manager Jose Mourinho loves the limelight and silverware so he should field a pretty decent squad against Reading. It’s hard to say if Reading will go with their regular starters though since they’re aiming at a top-two finish in league play.
by Ian S. Palmer