Manchester United kick off their FA Cup campaign by welcoming Reading to Old Trafford for their fourth-round tie.
Competition: FA Cup 4th round
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick Off: 20:00 UK Time
TV Channel: ITV 1
How do Manchester United Look?
Last time out United got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. It was a great response from the team after what was a disappointing week where they drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace and lost 3-2 to Arsenal. Against Forest, United were a lot better in possession and able to control large parts of the game. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring early on yet again with a wonderful solo run into the Forest box before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper at his near post.
The Reds continued to create chances throughout the first half with Antony playing well drifting into central spaces to link play. The Brazilian had a good chance to score after connecting well with Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes but he couldn’t put the chance away. Antony would be involved in United’s second goal just before halftime though. He received the ball on the edge of the box from Casemiro and struck a volley that forced the goalkeeper to parry into the path of Weghorst who was alert to the situation. It’s the loanee’s first goal for the club and capped off a good first half for him where he showed his skills in linking play and laying passes off.Embed from Getty Images
United took their foot off the gas in the second half but we’re still solid enough defensively to avoid conceding. Their final goal would come late in the second half after substitute Anthony Elanga did well to find Bruno Fernandes on the edge of the box. The Portuguese was able to come onto the ball and strike it first time into the bottom corner and give United a three-goal advantage going into the second leg next week.
Anthony Martial and Diogo Dalot will not feature against Reading as they are both out with injuries. Jadon Sancho could finally make a return to the squad with Ten Hag speaking on the good progress he’s been making in training before the game.
Opponents: ReadingEmbed from Getty Images
When Reading come out at Old Trafford on Saturday, many Manchester United fans may see a familiar face. United legend Paul Ince is the current Reading manager after taking over the club last February. Ince took the interim role after eight years without working in management but was able to guide The Royals to safety in the Championship and was offered the job. His side currently sit 14th in the league but have just come off a 4-0 drubbing to Stoke City.
Reading’s top goalscorer this season happens to be Paul Ince’s son Thomas Ince. The speedy forward has netted six times in the league this season with three assists to boot, and he will certainly be the player his team look to for goals. Thomas Ince hasn’t scored in his last four games in all competitions and will be hoping to break that duck against United on Saturday.
Manchester United have been pretty good at beating opponents they are expected to this season. Erik ten Hag’s men usually control these types of games and come out with a victory and fans will be expecting more of the same here. Reading on the other hand will be hoping that they can cause an upset with a bit of FA Cup magic to help see them through to the next round.
Manchester United 3-0 Reading