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Brian McDermott was named Barclay’s manager of the month of January and rightly so. The recognition for Reading did not stop there. Hotshot Adam Le Fondre scooped the players’ award and deservedly so. His 2 goals v Chelsea at the Madejski were precisely taken and expertly executed. That earned a vital draw for the Royals and continued their survival push. The drama that has made their campaign an exciting one.
Tonight, they come to Old Trafford for a chance to mete out revenge on Manchester United. The fixture at their home turf ended 4-3 in United’s favour in match they led 2-0 and played exceptionally well. This is no League game though. It is the FA Cup and represents a chance for Fergie’s men to win it for the 1st time in 9 years. The hard luck of always being drawn against EPL teams hasn’t daunted the Red Devils one bit. It has motivated them to excel more than ever before.
The Royals will be full of confidence going into this one. The way they have come from behind to claim vital points in the last couple of weeks has been phenomenal. But they currently lie 18th in the Premier League and will see this as a chance to go further in a cup competition and perhaps have a shot at winning it.
With the draw yesterday, a Championship team will feature in the semi-finals of the World’s oldest competition. Millwall were drawn against Blackburn in the last eight, so if they progress, there’s a great chance they can spring a surprise or two. BMD’s side are looking to progress to the Quarter Finals for only the 3rd time ever. However, the hurdle they have to scale is very tough.
Manchester United come into this match on the back of a hard earned 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu in the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League match v Real Madrid. SAF and members of the playing staff want to do well in this competition to keep alive their aspirations of a treble. Whoever comes out of this will face either Boro or Chelsea in the next round. Fergie will ring the changes as expected although he will be expected to name a strong squad for the very important game.
Players like Chicharito, Smalling, Anderson, Cleverley, Nani, Ashley Young, et al will be in the Squad. RVP might have to make do with a place on the bench; he has yet to start a Cup game this season.
As ambitious as McDermott is, he will be aware of the fact that his side will have to employ metaphysical powers tonight if they want to see out the Red Army. Sir Alex needs another FA CUP and will do everything humanly possible to progress tonight. Hope both teams are up to it.
MUFC: Lindegaard-Rafa, Vidic, Smalling, Buttner, Anderson, Cleverley, Nani, Young, Rooney, Chicharito
READING: Federici-Kelly, Morrison, Mariappa, Harte, Liegertwood, Kebe, Tabb, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak
Rafa Da Silva won’t forget in a hurry what he suffered in the hands of Robson-Kanu and McAnuff in the League fixture. He was immediately hauled off by the gaffer after some uncharacteristic errors and rash tackles. He has to put in a better display tonight or face the same situation he faced a few months ago.
Written by Ohireime Eboreime
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