Rotated United to get past Ince's Reading
Manchester United take on Reading in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday evening.
The Red Devils are in Carabao Cup semi final action at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday evening, and that match will take priority over this one, especially with Southampton and Newcastle United the only other sides left in the competition.
The preparation advantage that Reading have fades into insignificance when you look at the two squads, and depth at Erik ten Hag’s disposal, Paul Ince has performed a close to miraculous job in Berkshire this season, but returning to his old club looks a steep uphill task.
United put in a very respectable performance at Arsenal on Sunday, despite going down 3-2, with the Gunners finally being taken seriously as potentially the best team in the country.
Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot, Donny Van de Beek and Jadon Sancho are out for the hosts, while Anthony Martial is doubtful.
The visitors will be without Andy Carroll, Dejan Tetek, Liam Moore and Sam Hutchinson.
Erik ten Hag appears to have embedded his methods more deeply in the squad than any other manager, possibly apart from Jose Mourinho, has since Sir Alex Ferguson and players stepping into the side to take on the Royals will know what is expected of them in great detail.
United are back, not back as in we should start expecting them to challenge for league titles and all cup competitions on a yearly basis, but they look set to comfortably finish in the top four in the Premier League this season, and an exciting crop of young players suggests that they could possibly build on that in the coming years.
The Royals may be fresher, and have been incredibly organised and drilled defensively this season, but with their attacking threat dropping off it is going to be difficult to keep the Red Devils at bay.
The schedule points towards unders for me, and Reading’s approach to the game could aid that angle.
United have scored in all of their last 17.
United have conceded in five of ten.
United have seen both teams score in five of ten.
United have seen over 2.5 goals in seven of ten.
Reading have scored in seven of ten.
Reading have conceded in eight of ten.
Reading have seen both teams score in five of ten.
Reading have seen over 2.5 goals in five of ten.
Post bet chat Marcus's Tips:
0-0 at HT, but ends 3-1, tough one to take.