Reading take a break from league action this weekend as they head to Old Trafford to face Premier League giants Manchester United.
Although things looked gloomy for the Red Devils earlier this term, they are in much better shape now and could potentially win themselves a couple of trophies between now and the end of the season. They already have one foot in the Carabao Cup final and could go all the way in this competition too.
The Royals will be hoping to cause a major upset this evening - but it will be a tall order for the visitors considering United have the home advantage and won’t be short of confidence following their emphatic victory against Nottingham Forest in midweek.
Ahead of the game, we have some facts and a preferred lineup for you!
What? FA Cup Fourth Round
Who? Manchester United
Where? Old Trafford
When? Saturday 28th January
Opposition Manager? Erik ten Hag
The Last Meeting
Manchester United 2-0 Reading
Starting XI: Bouzanis, Guinness-Walker, Abbey, Dann, Mbengue, Abrefa, Loum, Fornah, Azeez, Long, Joao
Dean Bouzanis gets the chance to impress between the sticks, although it would be good to see Coniah Boyce-Clarke at some point too considering he hasn’t made his first-team debut yet.
One man that already has made his debut is Nelson Abbey - but he hasn’t exactly had a major opportunity to shine at a senior level so it will be interesting to see whether he gets a chance tonight. Scott Dann also comes in to provide experience, with Amadou Mbengue potentially handed a start too considering he hasn’t been in the first 11 for a while.
It seems as though Kelvin Abrefa has returned to fitness in time for this game - and Nesta Guinness-Walker may also feature as a player that hasn’t started too many matches this term.
With Sam Hutchinson out, the Royals don’t have a huge number of midfield options to choose from, so regular starter Mamadou Loum is in the 11 again alongside Tyrese Fornah who will be hoping to be one of the first names on the teamsheet between now and the end of the season.
Femi Azeez replaces Tom Ince with the latter not required this evening - and Shane Long and Lucas Joao start up top with Yakou Meite given a rest and Andy Carroll’s minutes needing to be managed following his return from injury.
Unfortunately, I can’t see any team we put out securing a win but we’ll give it a good go!
Score Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Reading
Here are my predictions for the FA Cup games involving Championship teams this weekend:
Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Birmingham City
Bristol City 1-2 West Bromwich Albion
Fulham 2-1 Sunderland
Ipswich Town 0-3 Burnley
Luton Town 3-1 Grimsby Town
Southampton 2-1 Blackpool
Preston North End 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City 1-2 Stevenage
Wrexham 2-3 Sheffield United