On paper Saturday’s early FA Cup third round tie between holders Manchester United and Championship side Reading does not look much of a contest.
Manchester United have hit form of late, having gone 13 games unbeaten in all competitions and won the last seven games. The Red Devils recorded a 2-0 victory at ten-man West Ham in their last top-flight outing, with Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting on the scoresheet.
It seems a bad time for Championship high-fliers to face United. However, after a busy festive period boss Jose Mourinho may well decide to rotate his squad and rest some of his stars for this game.
The Red Devils have been deadly going forward of late, as United have scored two or more goals in six of their last seven games in all competitions.
Reading are currently third in the Championship and in-form under former-United centre-back Jaap Stam, who will no doubt be determined to make an impact on his return to Old Trafford.
The Royals have won eight of their last ten games and are looking to challenge for an automatic promotion spot in the Championship. This game will be a good test for Reading and their high-profile Dutch boss.
The Royals have been prolific of late in front of goal in the second tier, scoring two or more goals in four of their last five outings. However, surprisingly with Stam in charge, the side from Berkshire have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight games.
Reading will no doubt be heading to Old Trafford looking to produce a good performance, even if they do ultimately exit the competition. Forebet predicts a win for the home side, but Reading are likely to at least give the Red Devils a game in this intriguing clash.