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Premier League

  • 1 December 2012
  • • 17:30
  • • Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 24095

Reading - Manchester United Preview: Royals hope to upset table toppers at the Madejski

The Red Devils face Brian McDermott's men on Saturday evening hoping to maintain their early season form against a side who have won just once in the Premier League so far



Cummings, Morrison, Mariappa, Shorey
Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff,
Roberts, Le Fondre
Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra
Anderson, Carrick, Cleverley
Welbeck, Van Persie, Rooney

Reading boss Brian McDermott has injury problems ahead of the clash with the league leaders as Jem Karacan (knee ligament) has failed to return to fitness while Chris Gunter (hamstring), Danny Guthrie (leg) and Jimmy Kebe (groin) are all expected to remain out of first-team action until the New Year.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Feguson will be without Antonio Valencia (hip) after the winger sat out the Red Devils' 1-0 over West Ham midweek, while Paul Scholes is in contention after serving a suspension on Wednesday.

Nani (hamstring) is still sidelined with injury alongside other long-term absentees Shinji Kagawa (knee) and Nemanja Vidic (knee), however Rio Ferdinand could return to the starting line-up after he was rested against the Hammers.

  • Reading have conceded a joint-divisional high 78% of all their goals in the second half of games this season.

  • The Royals have kept the joint-fewest clean sheets in the Premier League this term.

  • Despite being a game behind most other sides in the league, Brian McDermott's men have allowed more shots against them than any other team.
  • The newly-promoted club have had 23 goals scored past them this season, with only Southampton, QPR and Wigan letting in more.
  • Manchester United have scored more headed goals than any other team in the top flight (10) so far this season.
  • The Red Devils have drawn just one of their last 22 Premier League away ties.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson's side have recovered more points from losing positions than any other team in this season’s Premier League (18).
  • Wayne Rooney (pictured) has a joint-league high six goal assists this season, along with Chelsea’s Juan Mata.
  • All of United's last four league defeats on their travels have been by a 1-0 scoreline.

Players to watch

J. McAnuff

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Reading skipper was instrumental in the Royals' promotion to the Premier League last season. However, the 31-year-old has yet to really impress in the top division. Saturday's home game against the top flight's leaders will provide ample opportunity for the winger to show what he can do.


Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Brazilian midfielder has enjoyed something of a revival of late, with a half-hour cameo against QPR that turned the tide in United's favour. Sir Alex Ferguson stated that the 24-year-old has "picked himself" for the following game against West Ham with that performance, and it will be interesting to see whether he can keep it going.

Editor's Prediction

Expect Manchester United to leave the Madjeski with all three points in this one. Sir Alex Ferguson has an advantage in being able to rotate his squad for the fixture, whereas Reading boss Brian McDermott will most likely stick with the first eleven that lost to Aston Villa in midweek. The game is likely to be won through the individual brilliance of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, with them facing a leaky Reading defence.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Manchester United


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Reading FC REA
Reading FC Reading
Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United

Top 3 Predictions

Reading FC REA
0 - 3
Manchester United FC MUN
Reading FC REA
1 - 3
Manchester United FC MUN
Reading FC REA
0 - 2
Manchester United FC MUN