On Saturday, January 28, Manchester United and Reading will play the 1/16 finals of the FA Cup in Manchester at the Old Trafford stadium. The starting whistle of referee Darren England from Yorkshire will sound at 22:00 Kyiv time.
If in the standings of the English Premier League “Manchester United”, at the moment, cannot compete with its “noisy” city neighbors in the person of Manchester City, even despite winning the recent derby (2:1), then with Cup competitions for the wards of Eric ten Hag, things are much better. The Red Devils are as close as possible to the final of the English League Cup after winning the first semi-final against Nottingham Forest a few days earlier (3: 0), and also got a much more acceptable opponent at the 1/16 finals of the FA Cup than the London Arsenal ”, against which the players of Josep Guardiola were supposed to play the day before this game.
Given the fact that the UEFA Europa League will return very soon, where United will have to play a premature “final” against the Catalan “Barcelona” already in the first step of the playoff bracket, the Manchester team has no time left to build up. That is why the hidden replay option in the event of a draw in a match at such an early stage of the National Cup is not of interest to United at all. And they are now, after a series of eight matches without defeat, which was stopped only by a failure against Arsenal (2:3), clearly not in such condition to interrupt a series of successful confrontations against Reading, which has been going on for almost 100 years , with the only victory of rivals in the insanely distant 1927.
The last time the representatives of the Berkshire County rose to the Premier League in the 2012/13 season, and this promotion was so short and unsuccessful – 19th place and the corresponding relegation back to the Championship, that none of the fans of other teams perceived that team under the leadership of Nigel Adkins seriously. A few seasons later, Jap Stam managed to make a sharp leap from 17th to third place in the second division, but the team did not break into the “elite”, and a year later fell sharply in the peak as much as 20th line. It is in such fluctuations that the current history of a rather modest team passes, so cup tournaments remain almost the only way for it to make itself known.
Now Reading is still in the Championship, but under the leadership of 55-year-old Englishman Paul Ince, the team has already managed to score almost as many points in half of the tournament path as in the previous season as a whole. As a result, a place in the middle of the standings with little prospect of fighting for a promotion playoff, but with a sufficient advantage over teams from the relegation zone. Confused only by a series of failures in the championship, which has been going on for four matches and affects meetings against far from the strongest opponents. Even behind Stoke City, the Royals were devastatingly beaten a week earlier (0:4).
“Manchester United”: Heaton – Malasia, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka – Mainu, Fred, McTominay – Garnacho, Weghorst, Elanga.
“Reading”: Lumley – McIntyre, Holmes, Yaydom – Baba, Lum, Fornach, Hendrik, Hoylett – Joao, Ince.
Out: Tuanzebe, Sancho, van de Beek, Shaw, Martial, Dalot-Carroll, Sarr, Hutchinson, Moore, Ejaria,
Forecast for confrontation
We believe that in the upcoming match, the team of Erik ten Hag will take a step into the next round. Our bet will be the position – Handicap. Manchester United (-2) with a coefficient of 1.73 on the Parimatch line.
January 28, Saturday
Manchester United – Reading
Manchester. “Old Trafford”. 22:00 Live TV broadcast – Setanta video service
Arbitrator: Darren England (Yorkshire, England) Prognoz Aroged – 3:0
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