Match Preview: Manchester United vs Reading
As the Premier league season is hurtling towards the finish line, the top of the table is not a suspense anymore. Barring an unlikely breakdown, United should celebrate their 20th premier league title. The interesting part is the bottom of the table and the run in for the 4th place. London, in the form of Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal, is fighting it out for the Champions league and even Liverpool could make a challenge with a good run-in in this final third of the season. Reading, Wigan, Aston Villa, QPR and Southampton are fighting to stay up.
The United-Reading tie is an interesting one. The corresponding fixture at the Madejski Stadium had produced a goal bonanza, with seven goals being scored in the first 36 minutes. At this point, Reading have sacked Brian Mcdermott, and Eamonn Dolan, the squad coach, will be patrolling the technical area. United, meanwhile, would want to get some impetus before the international break. The loss to Madrid and conceding two goals to Chelsea at Old Trafford could lead to a season implosion, and United need the three points here to avoid that. United also defeated Reading in the 5th round of the FA cup here at Old Trafford, with Nani giving a man-of-the match performance in the tie. That match had ended 2-1 to United and was a good game.
With Everton hosting the Manchester Blues, the Red Devils have a chance to increase their sizeable lead at the top of the table. But as Sir Alex knows well the desperate opponent can be the most dangerous one. If the Reading players show the hunger and determination they can produce exhilarating football. Of course some would say that their matches start after the seventy minute mark. But then people also said that United’s match starts after 90 minutes. Reading I think should go on the attack, because parking the bus at old Trafford is pretty useless., United always score. They would be better suited to attack a not so high-flying Manchester United.
Probable line ups
Fedrici, Harte, Mariappa, Pearce, Kelly, McAnuff, Leighterwood, Gutherie, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Hunt.
Manchester United- 4-2-3-1
De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Cleverly, Nani, Rooney, Kagawa, Van Persie
Men to watch out for
Le Fondre – The Reading forward has been pivotal in their late comebacks. With an assured touch and a cool head in front of goal, if he has a good day, he could trouble the United defense.
Van Persie – The flying Dutchman has looked out of touch the last month or so but he has no excuses now. He came on as a sub against Chelsea and has had enough rest. He is long overdue a goal and should get one or more. With Rooney in attack, they could blast a poor defense and prepare for the tie at Stamford Bridge