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Manchester United vs Reading – The starting XI

by Tom Newbold

Prior to the upcoming international break, Manchester United face Reading as they look to continue their charge for the Premier League title. A week has passed without games and Sir Alex Ferguson has announced only Phil Jones and Nani are unavailable for this fixture.


David de Gea: De Gea is due to make his 50th Premier League start for Manchester United if he is picked and given his continued form and deserved call up to the Spanish squad, his place is all but guaranteed.

Rafael: The Brazilian underperformed against Chelsea last week but he has suffered some blips this season which he has always immediately bounced back from, something that can be expected against Reading.

Jonny Evans: Evans had one of his worst performances earlier in the season against Reading, so will be looking to rectify that tonight.

Nemanja Vidic: The Serbian wasn’t picked against Chelsea hinting at a start against Reading, particularly when considering Rio Ferdinand’s international call-up and the impact that may have on how many games the Englishman can play.

Patrice Evra: The 31-year-old may be rested once or twice in the season run-in, but this is unlikely against Reading.

Ashley YoungThe English wide-man is no doubt in need of minutes, hence a likely start against Reading.

Michael Carrick: Carrick’s balance and metronomical style may be vital against a Reading side fighting against relegation and looking to disrupt United’s rhythm.

Anderson: Perhaps a start for Anderson is likely after two strenuous games for Tom Cleverley is recent weeks.

Danny Welbeck: Welbeck is arguably in the form of his life and minutes against Reading would be a just reward.

Wayne RooneySuch a big squad breeds plenty of debate over selection but as one of United’s main players, Rooney can be expected to start against Reading.

Robin van Persie: The Dutchman started on the bench against Chelsea making him more than likely to start against Reading on Saturday evening.

Reading homeFormation

A typical United set-up of 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1 can be expected with Rooney behind van Persie and interchanging with the left side. United’s control on the game could depend on Anderson and Rooney’s performances and whether they are effective in central areas, or sloppy as they have been known to be in recent weeks.

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