The Madejski plays host to leaders from Old Trafford.
Brian McDermott will be hoping his defence can hold out against the Premier League’s most effective attack, as Man United roll into town. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have been weak at the back but have made up for it by making sure they score far more than they concede. Thus far, Robin Van Persie and co. have notched up 33 goals in 14 Premier League matches.
The Royals, however, have been relatively solid at home, losing just one of their six encounters at Fortress Madejeski and Reading have been unfortunate to lose their last two games by a narrow margin. Even so, it would take a brave man to bet against a comfortable win for Man United.
Venue Madejski Stadium Saturday, 5.30pm
Last season n/a
Referee M Halsey
This season’s matches 6 Y12, R2, 2.33 cards per game
Odds Reading 6-1 Man Utd 2-5 Draw 18-5
Subs from S Taylor, Pearce, Pogrebnyak, McCleary, Harte, Cummings, Hunt, Kébé, Mariappa, Obita, J Taylor, Edwards, Guthrie
Doubtful Kébé (hamstring)
Injured McCarthy (shoulder, 8 Dec), Karacan (knee, 22 Dec)
Form guide LLWDDD
Disciplinary record Y14 R0
Leading scorers Hunt, Pogrebnyak, Robson-Kanu 2
Subs from De Gea, Johnstone, Buttner, Welbeck, Fletcher, Powell, Macheda, Bebe, Henriquez, Anderson, Hernández, Jones, Smalling
Doubtful None Injured Vidic (knee, 8 Dec), Valencia (hip, 8 Dec), Kagawa (knee, 22 Dec), Nani (hamstring, Jan)
Form guide WWLWWW
Disciplinary record Y22 R0
Leading scorer Van Persie 9
These clubs have met four times in the league, all of which were Premier League fixtures in the past decade (two United wins, two draws).
Reading’s only previous win in all competitions against Manchester United was 2-1 at home in the FA Cup in January 1927.
The two clubs also met in the first round of the short-lived ‘Watney Cup’ in 1970, United winning 3-2 at Reading.
Reading have now conceded more second-half goals (18) than any other team in the Premier League this season, 16 of which have come in the final 30 minutes.
They are unbeaten in their last four league home games. If they avoid defeat they will equal their Premier League record of
five home matches in a row without a loss, set in January-March 2007.
The Royals have failed to score in the opening 15 minutes of any Premier League match this season, and have also lost 14 points from winning positions.
They have committed 123 fouls in the Premier League this season, fewer than any other team.
Their victory over West Ham was only the third time they have won and kept a clean sheet in the Premier League this season.
The Red Devils have not drawn any of their Premier League games this season (W11, L3).
The club are unbeaten in their last 18 Premier League matches against promoted clubs (15 wins) since a 1-0 defeat at Burnley in August 2009. In total, they have lost only 11 of 122 Premier League matches against promoted clubs.
Michael Carrick could make his 250th start for the club.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
fanatix prediction We can’t see past a comfortable United victory, but Reading to take the lead! 3-1.
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