News and Views

Reading Hope For Upset At Old Trafford

06 January 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The Royals are on the road this weekend as they make the journey to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup. The game has been much hyped up with the return of Reading manager and former United defender Jaap Stam to Manchester. Stam played a big part in Manchester United's success between 1998 and 2001 - including being part of their famous treble winning side. He insists his return to Old Trafford shouldn't be about him but about his new club attempting to pull off what would be a huge, and massively unlikely, cup upset: "It's nice to go back. I love the club, I love the fans and I had a great time there. But this game is not about me, it's about Reading facing Manchester United at Old Trafford."

The game has attracted a lot of interest from the media with the Jaap Stam angle, and Reading's recent success in the Championship may make it an interesting clash. As with any cup competition game featuring Manchester United, the tie was immediately selected for live TV coverage and will be shown on BT Sport. The game kicks off at 12:30pm which means an early start for nearly 5,500 Reading fans supporting their side at Old Trafford as they attempt to avoid an early exit from the cup. Reading fans will be heading north looking forward to a day out rather than a realistic hope of pulling off a shock, but we can always hope the magic of the cup makes an outing too. Reading's ticket allocation has been sold out for some time, but did go down to general sale, meaning most fans that wanted to go will be there.

When the draw was made BT Sport might have had hopes of screening some kind of upset with Reading up to third in the Championship and Manchester United struggling in the Premier League. However, since then Jose Mourinho has truly turned his club's fortunes around, guiding them to six consecutive Premier League victories. Since the draw the Red Devils have conceded just 3 Premier League goals while picking up maximum points to close the gap on the top four.

The only positive news for Reading fans is that Mourinho is likely to rest some of his star players to give some fringe players a run out. The United boss has confirmed however that Wayne Rooney will start and captain his side. Sergio Romero is confirmed to start in goal. However, even an under-strength United team is likely to be world class and will be expected to dish out a firm defeat to Reading. Mourinho is likely to go with some youth so that will probably include massive future, and current, prospect Marcus Rashford. United are also likely to go Dutch themselves to give some game time to the talented 19 year old Timothy Fosu-Mensah. He made 8 Premier League appearances last season but has clocked up just one so far this term. Luke Shaw is also likely to be included for the home side.

Jaap Stam has fielded reasonably strong sides in the League Cup, and is likely to go with a strong line-up again in the FA Cup. He has also vowed not to change his style of play stating "Our belief is possession. We still want to play." With Stam determined to continue his tactics that have been so successful in the league this season, a dramatic changes of personel seems unlikely. Ali Al Habsi signed a new contract this week to keep him at the Madejski Stadium until the summer of 2019. With Jaakola recently struggling with injury, Al Habsi seems near certain to continue in goal. Callum Harriott will miss out after picking up an injury just before the game against Fulham was abandoned at half time. Blackett will probably be given a chance to play against his old club, although Jordan Obita will be hoping to take his place in the starting eleven. The in-form Liam Kelly will be hoping to be given another starting chance.


Discussion On This Story:


» 06 Jan 2017 11:22


And our sojourn with this year's FA Cup begins (and most likely ends) on Saturday with a visit to Premier League giants Manchester United to play the big boys. While entry into the competition this year could well be over by half time, the tie will probably see Reading net about £1m or so for their trouble.

Then there's that little chance that says 1 visit to ManU in 20 will result in an incredible result and see Reading progress to play their more usual FA Cup fare of Huddersfield away. So all we hope is the club can go there and play their very best and perhaps this visit is day that Reading finally beat Manchester United again. Certainly would give Jaap something to remember on his first return to Old Trafford as a manager.

I would expect Man Utd to play a slightly weakened team compared to their usual PL turn outs but as that would still mean players like Mata, Rashford, Herrera, Mkthariyan etc. it's all rather irrelevant who Mourinho picks

Reading have Quinn missing as usual and Jaakkola and Harriot sidelined but other than that could field anyone. Given the time by which players have to be registered for FA Cup games Tiago Ilori is unlikely to play even if his transfer goes through today.


All the way from the West Midlands comes Premier League official Andre Marriner to take control of affairs. Interestingly he was also in charge of the last FA cup tie between the two sides



18 Feb 2013 > Manchester United 2-1 Reading (FA Cup)
19 Jan 2013 > Newcastle United 1-2 Reading
29 Sep 2012 > Reading 2-2 Newcastle United
01 Mar 2011 > Everton 0-1 Reading (FA Cup)
15 Mar 2008 > Liverpool 2-1 Reading
08 Dec 2007 > Reading 3-1 Liverpool
20 Oct 2007 > Blackburn Rovers 4-2 Reading
16 Sep 2006 > Sheffield United 1-2 Reading
27 Nov 2004 > Reading 1-1 Wigan Athetic


Reading beat Manchester United once. It was way back in 1927 and it took them 3 games to knock tem out of the FA Cup that season. Since then Reading have failed to win on loads of occasions.

Astonishingly this game will be the 14th occasion we've played United in the FA Cup which quite probably is the most games we've played in a cup competition against any one opponent and given the disparate nature of the two team's fortunes down the years that is quite some achievement. For the record we'd need to share another 4 league seasons with them just to reach the same number of league games :shock: :lol:

Reading have never won at Old Trafford. Best results there in the cup was a 2-2 back on 12 January 1927 and then the more recent 1-1 back on 17 February 2007. The other 4 visits have all end in defeat with a total of 2 goals scored and 10 conceded in those games.


» 06 Jan 2017 11:27

Some memorable games in there.


» 06 Jan 2017 12:36

Some memorable games in there.

The ref that missed Demba Ba's handball. :x


» 06 Jan 2017 12:37

Some memorable games in there.

The ref that missed Demba Ba's handball. :x

Interesting that he was given the return fixture after that

 Forbury Lion

» 06 Jan 2017 14:10

The ref that missed Demba Ba's handball. :x

Interesting that he was given the return fixture after thatMaybe it was an opportunity to put things right if a situation arose.


» 06 Jan 2017 15:11

Jose confirmed that Rooney & Sergio Romero to start tomorrow, but Scneiderlin and Depay are not being considered for selection.


» 06 Jan 2017 15:35

Mourinho: "Some people will say we [make changes] because it is a Championship team, but Reading is better than some Premier League teams."



» 06 Jan 2017 15:38

He's just trying to motivate his squad, don't read too much into it


» 06 Jan 2017 16:31

We' d beat Hull and Swansea.
We might give Brighton a good game as well.....

 Winston Smith

» 06 Jan 2017 17:03

too late, I have read loads into that, absolutely loads. :x


» 06 Jan 2017 17:09

Yep, I took it to mean that we are better than the struggling Swansea, and Swansea beat Manchester United a couple of years ago, which means we will beat Manchester United tomorrow.

Barcelona are also a team to have beaten Manchester United in recent years, therefore we are better than Barcelona.


» 06 Jan 2017 17:19

But Barcelona have never beaten Brighton, so we've still got a long way to go until we reach their dizzy heights.

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