Manchester United Likely Line Up For Reading – Rashford To Start?

Manchester United begin the defence of their FA Cup with Championship Reading the visitors to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s men go into the game in red hot form and as huge favourites to progress after winning their last nine games in a row in all competitions.

However, the Red Devils face a Reading side that are flying high in the Championship, currently third, and with just one defeat in their last five games.

Jaap Stam will take his team to Old Trafford with fond memories of his time at the club, having won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League during his three trophy-laden years at the club.

Despite United’s great run of form Mourinho is expected to make wholesale changes to his side after a hectic festive schedule and with an EFL Cup semi-final against Hull on Tuesday and a Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

Goalkeeper David de Gea is expected to be rested for the game with reserve stopper Sergio Romero to be handed a rare chance to impress.

In defence, teenager Timothy Fosu-Mensah could get a start at right-back while Chris Smalling could return at centre-back alongside Marcos Rojo. Matteo Darmian could be given the nod at left-back ahead of Daley Blind with Luke Shaw not considered fit enough to start.

Marouane Fellaini is another player who is likely to be handed a start in midfield with Bastian Schweinsteiger another option with Mourinho surely tempted to give Michael Carrick a breather, ahead of an important week for the club.

Ahead  of them Anthony Martial will surely relish taking on Championship opposition. Ander Herrera could feature in a more advanced role alongside Juan Mata, who will remember this competition fondly having scored in the final against Crystal Palace last May.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney is an injury doubt and may have to continue his wait to become the club’s joint record goalscorer alongside Sir Bobby Charlton.

Up front Marcus Rashford is expected to start as the lone striker, with top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic given a deserved rest after being a virtual ever-present this season. The teenager is without a goal since September and will surely fancy ending his goal drought at home against Championship opposition.

Manchester United possess an excellent record against Reading, in 19 meetings between the two sides they have 11 wins, compared to Reading’s one and will be confident of victory on Saturday.