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Rashford and Manchester United looking to continue home form

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Man Utd v Reading
Manchester United is set to host Reading on Saturday in the FA Cup. | PHOTO: Manchester Evening |
  • Manchester United is set to host Reading FC at Old Trafford on Saturday in the FA Cup
  • Manchester United head into the match with an impressive home record this season
  • We take a look at the numbers ahead of the clash set to take place on Saturday afternoon

In Erik ten Hag’s first season as manager at Old Trafford, Manchester United appears to be a terrific value to end their six-year trophy drought.

According to the Dutchman himself, a club of United’s stature should not have to wait that long between championships.

Since winning the 2016–17 EFL Cup, United supporters haven’t had much to cheer about, but that may soon change.

The Red Devils are still in the running to win the Europa League, the FA Cup, and are still in the top four of the Premier League. They are also a strong contender to win the EFL Cup final.


After defeating Everton 3-1 in round three of the latter, United will face Reading, a lower-tier team led by former Red Devil Paul Ince, for a spot in the round of 16.

Stats Perform selects a few of the most noteworthy Opta stats ahead of Saturday’s match at Old Trafford.

We Clash again

Given that this is the 11th time the two teams have faced off in the FA Cup, you would be correct in believing that this matchup has an air of familiarity about it.

It will rank alongside Arsenal vs. Chelsea and Everton vs. Liverpool (15) as the sixth most games played in the competition’s history since 1912.

With the exception of a 2-1 defeat when the teams met in a second replay during the third round in 1926–27, United had won nine of the prior 10 matches.

Only five teams can match United’s 90 percent win rate against a single opponent in the FA Cup among matches that have been played at least six times.


Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has scored against Reading FC in the FA Cup in the past. | PHOTO: BeSoccer |

A one-sided affair

The FA Cup is not the only competition in which this match is lopsided.

When considering all competitions, Reading has only won one of its 22 meetings versus United and has suffered six straight losses.

The previous time the Royals defeated United was in a cup match played at Villa Park 96 years ago, so you must go back to that game.

United has won six straight games against Reading, during which time they have scored 15 goals and recorded three straight shutouts.

Reading is aware that they must pull off a major upset to advance, but their track record against Premier League opponents makes it unlikely that will happen this weekend.

With the exception of their 3-1 victory over West Brom in February 2016, they have lost seven of their last eight FA Cup games against Premier League opponents.

The fact that United has lost only one of their last 39 home games against teams outside of the top tier makes them the clear favorites for this encounter.

Since losing 2-1 to Arsenal in 2015, Ten Hag’s team has gone 14 games without a loss in the FA Cup at Old Trafford against any opponent.

Europe’s most in-form player

Marcus Rashford

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been in great form at home since the resumption of club football after the 2022 FIFA World Cup. | PHOTO: Manchester Evening |

It doesn’t help that Reading has had a hit-and-miss season in the Championship, while United has, with a few minor exceptions, excelled in the top division.
Ten Hag deserves high respect for his early efforts at United, which included maximizing Marcus Rashford’s offensive potential.
Since the World Cup, the England international has scored 10 goals in 10 games, a feat that no other player in Europe’s top five divisions has accomplished.
Rashford has scored two goals and provided assists on three other goals in his last five FA Cup games after scoring a late penalty in the previous round.
That might be terrible news for Reading, who Rashford defeated 4-0 in the third round in January 2017 and against whom he had previously scored both of his competition goals.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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