Confirmed XI: Rashford seeking Old Trafford record against Reading; Pellistri & Garnacho on the bench; Ince to pay a price?

A victory over Reading is both needed and likely

Manchester United will face Reading in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford this evening. The match will see Erik ten Hag go up against former United player Paul Ince who is now the manager Championship strugglers Reading. Ince has been critical of every United manager post-Sir Alex Ferguson in the past, criticising everything but has not achieved anything as a manager in his career. Bet he does not like criticism?

United have not been beaten by Reading since 1927 which gives the Red Devils an almost 100 year record against the Berkshire club. Since the season restarted after the FIFA World Cup, United have been in great form falling to a recent draw with Crystal Palace and a hard-fought defeat to Arsenal on Sunday. Ten Hag’s United beat Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup semi final first leg 3-0 at the City Ground on Wednesday evening, facing them again next week.

It seems certain that United are seeking to win a trophy this season under the guidance of the Dutchman, who has perhaps been the best fit at the club post-Ferguson despite the fact that only Louis van Gaal (Emirates FA Cup) and Jose Mourinho (FA Community Shield, EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League) have been successful, although David Moyes won the Community Shield with United. Ten Hag looks set to see this United team go the distance this season, if they can.

Manchester United

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;

Weghorst

Substitutes

Heaton; Martinez, Varane, Williams; Fred, Mainoo; Pellistri, Elanga, Garnacho

Reading

Lumley;

Hoilett, Yiadom, Holmes, McIntyre, Rahman;

Hendrick, Loum, Ince;

Joao, Carroll

Substitutes

Bouzanis; Dann, Guinness-Walker, Mbengue; Fornah, Craig; Long, Meite, Azeez

United and Reading have met 22 times in all competitions. United have won 14 times, drawing seven times with Reading winning just once. United have scored 46 goals, conceding 21 and keeping eight clean sheets. For three seasons, United faced Reading in the Premier League, winning four matches and drawing twice. Reading last beat United back in 1927 – a 2-1 defeat in an FA Cup replay played at Villa Park after a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

United and Reading have played 17 times since the last time Reading defeated United. United have won 13 times, drawing four times. United currently have a six-match winning run against Reading. In the FA Cup, United have played Reading 15 times, winning nine, drawing five and losing once. United have won the last four meetings against Reading in the FA Cup and are undefeated in their last ten meetings in the competition.

Chris Casper, Grant Brenner, Luke Chadwick, Oliver Norwood, John O’Shea, Paul McShane, Tyler Blackett and Danny Drinkwater have all played for United and Reading, some of whom had only played at youth level for United. O’Shea made 394 first team appearances for United with Chadwick making 38, Blackett making 12 and Casper making six. The others played few or no matches at first team level. Blackett was the only player sold to Reading by United.

Written by John Walker


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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.