FOOTBALL NEWS

15/02/2013 14:26, Report by M Froggatt, M Singh
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Preview: United v Reading

Date, time and coverage:

Monday 18 February, 20:00 GMT kick-off. The match will be shown live in the UK on ESPN. You can also follow the action live via ManUtd.com’s text and radio commentaries.

Form guide: United head into this FA Cup fifth-round tie in high spirits after beating Everton to move 12 points clear in the title race before earning an extremely credible 1-1 draw with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday. The Reds have already knocked West Ham and Fulham out of the Cup this season and hope to reach the quarter finals with victory over Reading, who visit the Theatre of Dreams following third and fourth round victories over Crawley Town and Sheffield Untied. The Royals are also in good form, having won three of their six Barclays Premier League fixtures in 2013.

Betting: Unsurprisingly, bwin have United as favourites to seal progress at odds of 1.25 with Reading priced at 9.50, while the draw is a tempting 6.00. Given that Sir Alex Ferguson has already promised to rotate his squad, it might be worth backing Javier Hernandez to score first at 5.50.

Ins and outs: Everyone who travelled to Madrid has returned to Carrington in rude health and is available for selection, although the boss has stated he will utilise his squad by fielding a much-changed team. Paul Scholes is the only confirmed absentee with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Reading's squad is also close to being at maximum strength with only Jason Roberts and Alex McCarthy unavailable.

Last meeting: Seven goals in the opening 34 minutes helped United edge a 4-3 thriller at the Madejski Stadium, where the

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