English FA Cup

Manchester United v Reading: Ten Hag chasing cup double

Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is targeting silverware in his first season at Old Trafford

After their Carabo Cup semi final win in midweek Manchester United look to continue their impressive form against Championship Reading. Ben Steele is expecting more fireworks from United's main man...

  • Post-World Cup form will continue for Rashford

  • Old Trafford remains an FA Cup fortress

  • Family ties provide hope for visitors

Red hot Rashford too much for Reading

Manchester United take a break from Premier League action to focus on the cup competitions, and after a convincing 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday will fancy their chances of another win on Saturday night.

Marcus Rashford, currently the most in-form man in England, will lead the line looking to add to keep up his perfect form in the domestic cups.

United's number 10 has scored in every single cup game he has played this season, and is averaging a goal a game over the last month.

Facing Championship opposition, Erik ten Hag could rotate his starting lineup a little but with Wout Weghorst only recently arrived at Old Trafford I'd expect the front line to be relatively unchanged to give them more time playing together.

Weghorst is a willing runner and has been brought in for his prescence leading the line but won't be expected to score with regularity.

Rashford has grown into role as the main attacking threat leading a line that will also include Anthony.

The England man is enjoying life as the top dog at the moment and providing for his teammates as well as scoring. I'm backing a Bet Builder of Marcus Rashford to Score & Assist @ 4.65.

Bet Builder: Marcus Rashford to score & assist


Dominant United enjoying home comforts

After an early wobble, and losses to both Brighton and Real Sociedad, Old Trafford has become a real fortress for Erik ten Hag's side.

United haven't lost a home game since early September and since a 0-0 draw with Newcastle in mid-October have won 11 on the spin in Manchester.

The home record gets all the more impressive when it comes to the FA Cup, with the Red Devils winning 14 straight home games and when facing opposition from outside the top flight, they have lost just one of their last 39.

With that in mind Reading, owners of the third worst defence in the Championship could be in for a difficult evening.


Paul Ince will be back at the club he played for in the late 80s/early 90s but with the attacking talent available for his opposite number he probably isn't expecting a winning return.

Reading keeper Joe Lumley will have to be absolutely fabulous if his side are to secure a famous upset, and they are priced accordingly @ 8/1 to qualify and 16/1 to win in 90 minutes.

I would expect a high scoring victory for United to be on the cards. Over 3.5 goals in the game is 23/20 and well worth a look.

Reading need Ince-pired performance

It is a case of Ince at the double for Reading these days with Paul in the dugout and his son Tom Ince playing in midfield and fortunately for the Royals, the pairing is paying off.

Ince is currently Reading's top scorer with six goals in all competitions and is also the club's most creative player, with three assists to his name. Combining well with battering forwards Lucas Joao and Andy Carroll who will provide a near constant aerial threat.

Erik ten Hag has relied a lot on Lisandro Martinez in the centre of defence this season, and the World Cup winner has been broadly excellent but he may well struggle with Reading's direct approach.

I'm not expecting Reading to have a great number of chances in a game United should dominate, but if they are I'd expect it to fall to Ince. At 15/2 to score anytime those looking for an upset can look to Ince.

Recommended bets

Ben's 2022/23 P/L:

Staked: 14 points

Returned: 29.6 points

2022/23 P/L: +15.6 points

New Customers can get £50 in free bets!

Available to new customers only. Place a £10 bet on the Betfair Sportsbook and you will receive £50 in free bets to use on Bet Builders and Accas! Opt-in here and T&cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.