FA Cup Preview: Manchester United - Reading

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 Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, Sir Alex Ferguson will most likely introduce some fresh faces when Reading visits 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 Ferguson 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 was giving its 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 lineup meaning Pavel Pogrebnyak may retain his place in attack with super substitute 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 has emerged victorious in 15 of its last 19 FA Cup matches at Old Trafford, losing just two and drawing two.
  • Seven goals were scored in the first 35 minutes when the two sides met at the Madejski Stadium earlier this season.

  • United has won the FA Cup on each previous occasion that it has 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, Adam Le Fondre (pictured right) has scored seven goals.

  • The Royals have only ever been past the FA Cup's fifth round twice.

  • Their record against sides from the same division in the FA Cup is very poor, having won just one of 12 matches.