EPL 2012-13: Reading vs Manchester United Preview

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Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 14:01 [IST]

Reading, Dec 1: Down in the relegation zone, Reading will have pull their socks up when they host league leaders Manchester United at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

United lost their last away match against Norwich while the Royals won their first home game this season on the same day. However, United recovered with back-to-back home wins but Reading lost their previous two away games.

EPL:Reading vs Manchester United Preview

United remain unbeaten in the opening game of December over the past decade while they enter the Christmas season on top of the table for the sixth time.

Reading will have to work hard in order to keep their five-match unbeaten home record. Not allowing Robin van Persie, United's leading goal-scorer, will be top priority but the likes Wayne Rooney, who scored here four years ago, and a host of attacking players are set to torment the Royals back line.

Sir Alex Ferguson will be keen on retaining top position and having qualified to the knock stages of the Champions League, the 70-year Scot is expected to field a strong playing XI.

Reading midfielder Jimmy Kebe remains a major doubt with a groin injury while Danny Guthrie is in contention after recovering from a groin injury but Alex McCarthy and Jem Karacan remain sidelined.

United's injury woes are certainly over with the return of Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones but wingers Antonio Valencia and Nani are sidelined. The Portuguese is out for nearly three to four weeks with a hamstring problem.

Trivia:

*Last time Reading's win against Manchester United was 2-1 at home in the FA Cup in 1927.

*Reading are unbeaten in four home games in the league.

*Manchester United have not drawn a single game this season.

Probable Lineups:

Reading (4-4-2): Federici-Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey-McAnuff, Tabb, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu-Le Fondre, Roberts.

Manchester United (4-3-3): De Gea-Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra-Cleverley, Carrick, Anderson-Rooney-Van Persie-Welbeck.

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