Jack Butland will make his Manchester United debut in the FA Cup fourth-round clash against Reading at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United will look to seal a safe passage through to the FA Cup fifth round when they welcome Reading to Old Trafford on Saturday night. And Erik ten Hag does not have any new issues hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Anthony Martial remains on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury. In addition, Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, and Donny van de Beek will also be unavailable. But Jadon Sancho might return to the matchday squad after making significant progress behind the scenes.
Luke Shaw might also be available after a bout of illness. While ten Hag did not reveal anything in his pre-match press conference, he gave a promising assessment of Sancho. In addition, the Dutch tactician said he would name a “strong” squad on Saturday.
He said, “We always have issues, but I think tomorrow, we have a strong selection for this game. We have a good squad, we have depth in the squad, so we can cover things.”
Manchester United vs Reading Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats
On Sancho, ten Hag said, “He is training with the team and we will see. He is improving, he is making steps, we will make the decision after the training. He’s on the way back, he’s making steps, so he’s back in team training and now we have to see when he is ready to go back into the games.”
Sancho will unlikely start against Reading, but it will be interesting to see if he is on the bench. Meanwhile, ten Hag should name a heavily-rotated starting lineup, allowing the regulars some much-needed rest amid the fixture pile-up.
Jack Butland should make his Manchester United debut on Saturday, with Tom Heaton missing out. And Manchester United will line up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him. With Dalot unavailable and ten Hag unlikely to risk Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia should be the full-backs. And Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez should form the central defensive unit.
A second-string midfield unit will see Fred and Scott McTominay combine in the middle of the park. The duo will replace Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes will miss the next game if he goes into the book. So the Portuguese international will unlikely feature, with Kobbie Mainoo making his second start for Manchester United.
Wout Weghorst has started the last few games and will heave a sigh of relief with some rest. So Anthony Elanga should be the makeshift striker, with Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri being the two wide attackers. Weghorst, Antony, and Marcus Rashford will be backup options on the bench.
Predicted Manchester United XI: Butland; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia; Mainoo, McTominay, Fred; Pellistri, Elanga, Garnacho
It will be interesting to see Elanga, Garnacho and Pelistry play upfront against Reading in the FA cup match tonight. I would however like Casemiro to partner Mac Tominey and Iqbal Zidane in the midfield. I predict a 3 -0 win in favour of Manchester United.