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Reading v Manchester United – United Favourites to Maintain Premier League Lead

Reading v Manchester United
Premier League
Madejski Stadium, Reading
Saturday 1 December 2012
17:30 GMT

Manchester United will be looking to retain their lead at the top of the table when they go away to struggling Reading. United currently hold a one point advantage over rivals Manchester City.

Reading Preview

Reading don’t have the best record at home this season but the fact they have only lost one match shows they are difficult to beat. They have a single win and four draws to go with this result and they have only conceded ten goals which is the same home defensive record as Spurs.

Reading have only scored nine goals which suggests United should be confident of a narrow win, 1-0 is 15/2 with William Hill. For more winning bets, like this page on SoccerNews with football betting tips & reviews.

Injuries and Suspensions

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy remains out for Reading with a shoulder injury. The side are also missing Jimmy Kebe who has a groin problem and may return in the next game. Danny Guthrie could face a late fitness test on a thigh problem but Jem Karacan will miss the match with a knee injury.

Manchester United Preview

United have lost two matches on the road but their record of 14 goals scored has helped to secure five wins. This tally is higher than any other team in the league. The defence is a slight concern with nine conceded away from home but the clean sheet against West Ham will create confidence.

Injuries and Suspensions

Shinji Kagawa and Nemanja Vidic will both definitely miss the match with long term problems. Nani is unlikely to play owing to a hamstring injury and Antonio Valencia is touch and go ahead of the match with a hip problem.

Reading v Manchester United Statistics

Reading have conceded 23 goals from all of their matches which is one of the worst defensive tallies in the league. United have scored 33 goals both home and away which is the best attacking record in the division suggesting Reading could struggle.

Head to Head: The sides have met nine times at Reading with United winning five matches and four ending in draws. United won 2-0 in the last fixture during the 2007/2008 season.

Recent Form

Reading had a solid November compared to the rest of their season with a win, two draws and two defeats. United have won all of their league games in November except for the 1-0 loss away at Norwich City.


United should have more than enough fire power to win this match regardless of their injuries to key wingers. Prediction: Reading 0-2 Manchester United.

Wayne Rooney has seemed out of sorts slightly in a United shirt this season but he remains a great bet to score the first goal at 3/1 with William Hill.



  1. Pingback: Reading v Manchester United – United Favourites to Maintain Premier League Lead - Unofficial Network

  2. jos

    30 November 2012 at 14:46

    Its been a funny season.

    Earlier it was defenders.

    Suddenly we do not have any wingers anymore! Nani is out for another 4-5 weeks. Valencia is also injured. Young is hardly a winder (hes hardly a player but that for another day).

    More diamonds on offer then…

  3. Pingback: Reading v Manchester United – United Favourites to Maintain Premier League Lead | Manchester United News

  4. Sahal

    30 November 2012 at 23:20

    Nani and Rio not printed on United’s 2013 calender, adding momentum to the strong rumours they both could be on their way out

    The main replacements seem to be James Rodriguez and Kurt Zouma.Honestly I can’t see the glazers forking out 45 million (minus the fees for Nani and Rio)for those two given that they’ve just bought RVP for around 24 mill.
    And even if by chance the sales of Nani generate enough in order to aquire Rodriguez and Zouma,it might well mean Fergie won’t splash out on the centre mid we crave for.

    Maybe Bebe has a cousin who plays in midfield,Baba? 🙄

  5. Redrich

    1 December 2012 at 01:50

    Interesting comments by Fergie on the Goalie situation. He is going with AL again over DDG, despite the latter being fit and ready to go. It appears that AL has the hot-hand and Fergie sees no reason to bring back DDG right now.

    I did some number crunching on these two, and although I generally think Goalie stats don’t tell the story at all, I wonder if someone close to SAF does.

    AL;- 7 PL starts, allowing 1.14 goals a game and 2 CS

    DDG;- 7 PL starts, allowing 1.43 goals a game and 1 CS.

    We might have a Goalie controversy on our hands??

  6. Onkar

    1 December 2012 at 06:21

    Ferguson about advising the Young Coaches and of course Rafa…

    “Lots of younger coaches come here for a couple of days at a time and we’ve always been open to that kind of thing.” Ferguson said. “It’s no problem for me taking a phone call – it’s only 15 minutes of your day.” And Benítez?
    “You never know!” Ferguson said.

    Brilliant :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  7. Jay wire

    1 December 2012 at 10:15

    I’m perfectly fine with a narrow, wingerless system. In all the games we’ve played, the wingplay has been poor and generally counterproductive. If Ferguson is forced to play without wingers, then he has to play 3 in the middle. Hopefully that first of all forces him to play with at least one deep, like Carrick did on Wednesday night. This will help to stop the massive assault on our defence. It’s clear that every time we play with one disciplined midfielder, we are more solid defensively. Funny that, we’ve only played like this twice in the league. Against Newcastle, we had a midfield trio, with Carrick,I think, anchoring and Anderson and Cleverly ahead of him. Newcastle created zero chances and we scored 3. That’s pretty much the same structure we had on Wed and West Ham never looked like they’d score apart from the last minute save. When we play two in midfield, there’s no holding discipline. We are always looking like we’ll concede with every attack. Also when we attack, we are so frustratingly predictable.

    The biggest problem with Wednesday’s match, was not a defective system, but rather, a disoriented attack. We did well bringing the ball out from midfield to attack, with quick passing and movement. But when it got to attacking zones, things fell apart. And the cause for this is Rooney. Now I’m not launching an attack on Rooney,but like Welbeck, it’s an issue of wrong role. Contrary to popular conviction, Rooney is not a good attacking link. Great forward, but poor link. He does not possess the master thief qualities of the likes of Iniesta,Carzola,Ozil,Silva,Mata etc. These guys have exquisite ball control, excellent technique in tight spaces, very elusive and slippery with inch perfect, weighted passes in dangerous areas. Their whole game is based on spying, hoodwinks,stealing, smuggling, double crossing and smart hiests. It’s like they are pistols with silencers and Rooney is a machine gun. Spies vs marines. Okay I’m getting carried away, but there’s a principle in war. Before you attack, send the spies first to create loopholes for the strike. Rooney is not a spy because he’s way too clumsy and impatient for the job. He’s part of the strike team. He’s job should not be linking the attack and connecting the dots. He should be part of the cavalry that storms the gates. I’d rather sacrifice RVP,to play behind Rooney until Kagawa returns in February, because he possesses the attributes, even better than Berbatov. He knows how to hold the ball, find a teammate in good space, pass the ball at the perfect moment, with precision. That’s what’s called linking the attack. I’m genuinely surprised by people who advocate Rooney in midfield.

    So if we sort the attacking link problem in the absence of Kagawa,the wingerless system will flourish easily. The problem of course is, I still don’t see any hope for fluid football at United, for at least a few years. Fluid football comes with cohesion, which comes with systematic and repetitive experience, which in football comes with a regular pattern of games. I think we should all come to terms with the fact that, as long as we have mega rotation, no matter the quality of the players, there’ll never be any fluid football at United. That’s why I’m hoping for certain injuries. If we’re always going to suffer injuries, at least let them happen to the right people. Young, Giggs,Scholes,Jones. The 1st 2 seem obvious to me. Scholes for enough time, to get Cleverly and Anderson,playing, because let’s face it, no matter how good their performances, they are never going to get games ahead of Giggs and Scholes. Jones through no fault of his own, but simply because, if he is fit, he’ll play CB,CAM,DM,RB which leads to confusion. Casualties of war. Okay, I don’t really wish for this to happen, but if it did, don’t be surprised to find my fingers crossed. If we get 5-8 games with basically the same set of players, we have a definite scale by which to measure the team. If they fail, we know, they’re not what we need, if they succeed, then great. By the time the likes of Scholes return, either they’d be badly needed or it will be pretty clear to the most blind, who should be in the team. At least we’ll know once and for all, and more importantly, so will Ferguson. It’s easy to bash the usual suspects. Oh the midfielders are rubbish. Nani and Evra are crap. But besides, Rafael, Rvp and to some extent Hernandez,who else has not been crap. Young and Giggs lead the crap pile, with Rooney close behind. The rest have been below or slightly above average. So just maybe, it’s not the players we should be overly concerned about. Maybe we could look into factors like mega rotation, roles, system changes,shuffling defence and keepers. Maybe this has negative effects.

  8. Stephen

    1 December 2012 at 12:54

    RedRich, If United fail to win the league I feel the goalkeeping situation will be paramount reason for this. Personally I still feel we signed De Gea too early and should have bought a stop gap while he still developed. Lidegaard is certainly a decent keeper, but not near the class of Hart, Cech or VDS. Also keep rotating them is madness, a young rookie and a good back up keep being chopped and changed, with out a consistent back four is suicide.

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