After a second straight defeat, it gets no easier for Reading as they have the team top of the Premier League, in Manchester United. The Red Devils are looking for the eighth win in nine games, with their only slip up coming against Norwich City. The Royals showed a better defensive display against Villa on Tuesday night, but will have to be at their very best to keep the United front line at bay.
Reading manager Brian McDermott – ‘Winning games drives me. We won a game against Everton the other day, against a fantastic team, a great manager and that really, really inspires me. It’s about pitting your wits against the best managers in the world, the best teams in the world – last year we won the Championship, the year before we had got to the play-off final and lost it. It drove me to achieve. Once you’ve achieved something you want to move on and do it again.’
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson – “When Brian became manager there it took him a little bit of time to get his ideas across but look at the second half of last season – they came from nowhere to win the league. They`re definitely a club that are improving and although they`ve not had a lot of wins, they’re always hard games against them. I expect what we got at Norwich – a really difficult game.’
Reading Team News:
Reading could welcome back midfielder Danny Guthrie for this game, but is only likely to merit a place on the bench. Winger Jimmy Kebe is still injured, along with Jem Karacan and Alex McCarthy, who is expected to be out for the season.
Player to watch: Sean Morrison
The 21-year old has been superb since coming into the Royals team last month, but is set to face his biggest test yet. Was linked with Arsenal in the week and will want to prove he can match the likes of Van Persie and Rooney.
Manchester United Team News:
United have a few wing worries, coming into this game, with both Nani and Ashley Young out injured. Captain Nemanja Vidic is still a few weeks away from full fitness, while Paul Scholes is set to return from suspension.
Player to watch: Robin Van Persie
The Dutchman has had a flying start to his Red Devils career, but has failed to find the net in the previous four Premier League games. However, he will possibly fancy his luck against a shaky Reading defence.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Mariappa, Morrison, Shorey, McCleary, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Pogrebnyak
Man Utd: Lindegaard, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie
The referee for Saturday’s game will be Mark Halsey. The last Royals game he officiated was in November last year, as Reading were 1-0 victors over Birmingham City.
United may have been beaten by Norwich a few weeks ago, but I can’t see a similar result happening again for them all season. I can a similar result and performance from the Tottenham game.
Vital Reading prediction: Reading 1 – 3 Man United
Reading – Southampton (A) – Sat 8th December – Premier League
Man United – Man City (A) – Sun 9th December – Premier League