Manchester United - Reading Preview: Royals hoping to progess past the FA Cup fifth round for only the third time ever

Standing in the way of Brian McDermott's side are Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils, and the hosts have only lost two of their last 19 home matches in this competition


Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner 
Nani, Anderson, Cleverley, Young 
Rooney, Hernandez

Kelly, Morrison, Mariappa, Harte Leigertwood
Kebe, Tabb, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu

Following Manchester United's battling 1-1 draw against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night, Sir Alex Ferguson will most likely introduce some fresh faces when Reading visit on Monday.

Darren Fletcher is the only player definitely ruled out due to his bowel illness, while Paul Scholes is still a few weeks away from a return after suffering a knee problem.

Should Sir Alex decide to rest players, the likes of Alexander Buttner, Nani, Anderson and Ashley Young could all start, and Nemanja Vidic should return following his rest on Wednesday night.

While United were giving their all in Madrid, Brian McDermott took his side to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp and he will have the majority of his squad available at Old Trafford.

Striker Jason Roberts (knee) remains a few weeks from a return to the Reading line-up meaning Pavel Pogrebnyak may retain his place in attack with Adam Le Fondre available from the bench.

Reading's only other definite absentee is goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) and he looks set to miss another couple of months' worth of action.

  • Manchester United have emerged victorious in 15 of their last 19 FA Cup matches at Old Trafford, losing just two.
  • Seven goals were scored in the first 35 minutes when the two sides met at the Madejski Stadium earlier this season.

  • United have won the FA Cup on each previous occasion that they have defeated Fulham in the fourth round (1999 and 2004).

  • The Red Devils' last loss to Reading came in this competition back in 1927.

  • In his last seven Reading appearances, Le Fondre (pictured right) has seven goals.

  • The Royals have only ever been past the fifth round twice.