Manchester United vs Reading Preview:
Date: March 16, 2013; Time: 5:30 PM GMT;
Venue: Old Trafford — Manchester.
The Royals have not won Man Utd since 1927. Sir Alex Ferguson’s team can once again concentrate on the EPL after Champions League exit.
Manchester United stands at the top the Premier League with 71 points from 28 games, having 23 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats. The Red Devils are 12 points above 2nd-placed Man City and are going to win back the league title this season. Their present form has seen 3 wins, 1 defeat and 1 draw from last five games. Last five home matches the Red Devils have finished with the same stats. They have no more European games, so Man Utd can concentrate on their domestic trophies. Last weekend they drew 2-2 with Chelsea in the FA Cup and will need to play a replay in April. Also, they are unbeaten in 16 league matches.
Reading lies 19th in the EPL standings with 23 points from 29 games, winning 5, drawing 6 and loosing 16 so far this season. They are involved in a fight for survival and are even on points with 20th-placed QPR. They have lost 5 straight league matches and need to start to gain points, but in this game it would be almost impossible. Last five games far away from home the Royals have finished with 2 wins and 3 straight defeats.
Sir Alex Ferguson said that both full-backs Patrice Evra and Rafael were tired in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea last Sunday. But they are expected to play from the first minutes. Darren Fletcher is long term injured and will miss the rest of the season. Nani with hamstring, Paul Scholes with knee and Phil Jones with ankle injury are all doubtful.
Eamonn Dolan will play his first match in charge of Reading’s boss. He has some injury worries. Goalkeeper Adam Frederici is out due to ankle injury. Jimmy Kebe will miss this game cause of groin injury, while Pavel Pogrebnyak has a three-match suspension. Jason Roberts has a hip injury. Good news is that Alex McCarthy has been back in training.
Manchester United line-up: De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Young, Rooney, Van Persie.
Last three macthes:
Manchester United 2 – Chelsea FC 2;
Manchester United 1 – Real Madrid 2;
Manchester United 4 – Norwich City 0.
Reading line-up: Taylor, Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Leigertwood, Akpan, McCleary, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre.
Last three matches:
Reading 1 – Aston Villa 2;
Everton 3 – Reading 1;
Reading 0 – Wigan Athletic 3.