WILLIE Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) takes a look at Saturday’s opening FA Cup Third Round tie between Manchester United and Reading.
Manchester United v Reading | Saturday 12:30 | BT Sport 1
It seems reasonable enough to suggest that Manchester United’s 1-0 win against Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round last season is not a match that will live long in the memory for anyone who watched it.
It was a dour, drab, dull match, with Wayne Rooney’s last-gasp penalty greeted enthusiastically by both supporters of Manchester United and neutrals alike, although the latter were only pleased because it spared us all of sitting through a replay at Bramall Lane.
United only mustered two shots on target all night and the match is now, perhaps, best remembered as the tie that kicked off an FA Cup campaign that saw Louis van Gaal’s men go all the way in the competition, lifting the trophy for the first time in 12 years.
On Saturday afternoon, the holders begin their defence with another home tie against a lower league side – on this occasion, it is Reading who provide the opposition.
The Royals are under the stewardship of former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam and the Championship side are in a reasonably rich vein of form at present, having won eight of their last 10 matches.
Furthermore, there has rarely been a dull moment in recent times, with the team from the second tier having scored three goals in each of their last three fixtures, while just one of Reading’s last nine matches – a 2-0 defeat against Leeds United at Elland Road last month – has seen fewer than three goals scored.
This time, then, there may be potential for some excitement, for Manchester United have certainly found the way to goal in recent times.
Mourinho’s men have scored more than once in six of their last seven matches in all competitions, while the FA Cup holders have scored at least three times in three of their last five home victories.
Unfortunately, though, there is a catch; it remains to be seen whether the hosts, who are still chasing success in the League Cup, Europa League and Premier League, will field a strong side for this match.
And, sadly, with automatic promotion to the top tier of English football an attainable target for the Royals, Stam’s side may not even be at full strength for the tussle at Old Trafford.
Arsenal enjoyed a sedate 2-0 win when they hosted Reading in the EFL Cup earlier this season and a similar outcome may well yield profit for punters when Manchester United’s FA Cup campaign kicks off on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester United v Reading – Under 2.5 Goals (31/20 BetVictor)
Manchester United v Reading – Manchester United to win 2-0 (6/1 Unibet)
Want TWO Free Bets And £10 Cash?
We’ll then arrange for TWO free bets to be dropped into your betting accounts and we’ll also cover your first bet with instant cash up to £10.
Remember folks, if you ever want to join a new bookmaker give us a shout – no other site will give you extra bonuses such as free bets and instant cash like WLB!
How To Claim Your Free Bet And Instant Cash:
- Register for a new account at Ladbrokes, Marathon, Bet365, 888 or BetVictor via any of the links on this page. If you don’t use a link from WLB, you won’t be valid.
- Deposit and place your first bet (minimum £10).
- Email [email protected] to let us know your account username, the bet you placed and the bookmaker you’ve joined.
- We’ll arrange for TWO £10 free bets to be dropped into your betting accounts as well as £10 instant cash to cover your first bet.
- Remember, you’ll also be entitled to the new customer bonus or promotion with each of Ladbrokes, Marathon, Bet365, 888 or BetVictor too. However, if you don’t join via the links on this page, you won’t be valid for our free bet and instant cash giveaway.
- Free bet crediting can take up to 28 days.
- Any questions? Just drop us an email or tweet us at @WeLoveBettingUK.
World Cup 2018: The Ultimate Betting Guide
Our 130-page spectacular, World Cup 2018: The Ultimate Betting Guide, is available to buy NOW!
The interactive magazine includes previews, videos, stats and tips for all 32 teams, features on Outright Winners, Top Goalscorer, Refs & Cards, Dark Horses, Flops, Knock-out Betting and much more.
22 football experts contribute to our Ask the Experts feature and there’s over 5 hours of exclusive audio with 5 of the planet’s most respected reporters who discuss the chances of each nation with our very own Mark O’Haire.
And if that wasn’t enough there’s a free bet up for grabs with our partners Ladbrokes.