Manchester United will open their FA Cup endeavor at home against Reading. This will be the fifth game of the club under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the Norwegian’s perfect record will be sought to be maintained.
The Championship side, for its matter, is a sorry sight that is deeply struggling, and will be hoping for a merciful trip to Old Trafford, perhaps even daring to play the rare role of a giant-killer that the competition frequently features.
Here’s how the two sides may lineup for the encounter:
Solskjaer’s injury list is still populated by Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, and Scott McTominay, with Paul Pogba also reported to be out of the fixture with a minor knock. However, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as the key focus of this game is bound to be one of rotation and resting top stars.
Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku could see a start for the game, with youngsters Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, and Angel Gomes bound to play into Solskjaer’s ethos of utilizing youth players, and may have key roles of their own to play.
The FA Cup may be the Norwegian’s best shot at silverware, with his United future still hanging in the balance. As of such, the team will be encouraged to give its best shot.
Defenders: Dalot, Jones, Lindelof, Darmian
Midfielders: Fred, Fellaini, Pereira
Forwards: Gomes, Lukaku, Sanchez
The struggling side is yet to find its first victory under new Portuguese gaffer Jose Gomes. There is still uncertainty at the club, particularly when it comes to netting goals, and the FA Cup encounter won’t easily calm nerves.
In terms of suspension, they will be without Leandro Bacuna and Tyler Blackett, a Manchester United graduate, while injuries will limit them from using Jordan Obita and Saeid Ezatolahi, with the fitness of Paul McShane still in doubt.
A start may be given to Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Callum Harriott in a bid to ease their scoring woes.
Defenders: Yiadom, Ilori, O’Shea, Richards
Midfielders: Rinomhota, Swift
Forwards: Harriott, Aluko, Barrow; Bodvarsson