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The Royals begin life without Brian McDermott in the most inhospitable of environments, and Al Hain-Cole expects the hosts to put their recent frustrations to bed with a big win

After the surprise sacking of manager Brian McDermott allegedly left them ‘on the floor’, Reading’s players must pick themselves for Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.

Caretaker boss Eamonn Dolan will take control of The Royals as they face a Manchester United team still hurting from Champions League elimination and letting a two-goal FA Cup lead slip against Chelsea.

Alex Ferguson’s men are 1/6 (1.17) favourites with Paddy Power to prove that there is nothing more dangerous than the wounded beast by putting the visitors to the sword.

A win for Dolan’s side would go some way to vindicating owner Anton Zingarevich’s decision to hand McDermott his P45, but that seems an unlikely scenario, at odds of 16/1 (17.00).

Reading actually held United to a draw on their last Premier League visit to Old Trafford back in 2007, and you can get odds of 6/1 (7.00) on them grabbing a valuable point this time.

While the timing of McDermott’s departure may have come as a shock, a look at the club’s recent results makes the decision slightly more comprehensible.

Five consecutive defeats have undone the team’s good work over January, and leave them staring relegation squarely in the face.

United have a habit of kicking such teams when they are down, and their 4-0 win over Norwich in their last league fixture demonstrated their ruthless streak.

Having won their last 11 consecutive Premier League home games, the hosts look set to treat their fans to another comfortable victory in this game, and there should be plenty of goalmouth action on display.

A bet on over 3.5 goals would have paid out in eight of the 14 league games at Old Trafford this season, as well as two of Reading’s last four on the road, and offers decent value at 8/11 (1.73) here.

Considering the firepower available to Ferguson, it would be no surprise if all of the goals went in the Reading net, and it is well worth backing the Manchester club to win with a three-goal handicap, at odds of 5/2 (3.50).

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Over 3.5 goals at 8/11 (1.73) with Paddy Power
Manchester United (-3) to win at 5/2 (3.50) with Paddy Power

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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