Sir Alex Ferguson, having seen off the challenge of one promoted team in the shape of West Ham in midweek, takes his squad to Berkshire this Saturday, for a late afternoon kick-off, to face A Reading side that haven`t settled down well to life in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship last May. Can United get another win to keep Manchester City at bay in the race for the title?
Sitting pretty at the top of the table, talk continues about the title race being a two horse affair but Sir Alex Ferguson isn`t so sure and has remarked at his pre-match press conference,
‘You can’t be certain of saying it’s going to be a two-horse race at this stage. The important thing to do is just look at yourselves – we want to be up there all the time. We need to stay up there and this is not an easy league to do it in.’
I`d say it is a league that is very unforgiving when it comes to mistakes!
Reading Team News:
Under fire Reading boss, Brian McDermott, will be without his young goalkeeper, Alex McCarthy, with the young stopper side-lined for the season with a shoulder injury.
Another definitely out is Jem Karacan whilst Jimmy Kebe is rated as highly doubtful, courtesy of the groin injury that has seen him miss several games.
Good news regarding Danny Guthrie though with the player set to return after over-coming a thigh injury.
Player to watch: Pavel Pogrebnyak
The Russian jumped ship from Fulham to Reading in the summer and so far this season has hit the net five times.
United Team News:
With reference to any team news ahead of the clash on Saturday evening, Sir Alex Ferguson is able to welcome back Paul Scholes with the veteran having served a one game suspension.
But on the injury front, Sir Alex will have to do without Nemanja Vidic for this fixture, although the Serbian is rumoured to be in the running for a run-out in midweek against FC Cluj.
Elsewhere in the squad, Nani isn`t available due to a hamstring injury as isn`t Antonio Valencia, who has a hip problem.
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
Overshadowed (?) by Robin Van Persie in recent weeks, expect Wayne to bounce back all guns blazing.
Match Facts & Stats
There haven`t been too many clashes between these sides in the Premier League., in fact just four with United winning two and drawing two.
Looking back through the history books you discover that the last time Reading beat Manchester United was back in January 1927, when we were defeated 2-1 in the FA Cup third round.
The officials appointed for this match are:-
Referee – M. Halsey
Assistants – D, Bryan and L. Betts
Fourth Official – A. Marriner
Under growing pressure to improve results the Reading manager, Brian McDermott, wouldn`t be too ecstatic at the prospect of facing us in his next game. I`m taking United to continue their recent good run and come away from Reading with a comfortable win to set up an eagerly anticipated derby fixture against Manchester City next weekend.
Our next fixture is a Champions League home group stage game against FC Cluj followed, next weekend, by a clash with our noisy-neighbours, Manchester City.