Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Team news for Reading tie

Friday 04 January 2019 09:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will both start in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round tie against Reading.

Both forwards had an impact off the bench in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Newcastle, with Lukaku netting with his first touch to open the scoring, before Alexis set up Marcus Rashford’s goal.

Eric Bailly will sit out a second game through suspension and Solskjaer has also said that fellow defenders Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are again sidelined.

The caretaker manager also told reporters in his pre-match press conference that Paul Pogba is a doubt after sustaining a knock, presumably after a rash challenge by Jonjo Shelvey, but he is hopeful Marouane Fellaini will come through Friday's session at the Aon Training Complex. 

"Rojo [and] Smalling - they're out," Ole said. "I'm not sure if Paul [Pogba] is going to be ready for this one. He got a knock against Newcastle and hopefully Fellaini will get through the training session today and then we're more or less a full squad. There'll be a few changes and they'll get a chance. Some of them are itching now to play, of course. Get Lukaku a start, get Sanchez a start. That's important for them, because they need more game time." 

Solskjaer has said Lukaku and Alexis will be in the starting XI against Reading.


The 12:30 GMT kick-off at Old Trafford tomorrow will be the Reds’ fifth match in the space of a fortnight, after four wins in as many Premier League matches over the festive period under the caretaker manager.

With that in mind, Solskjaer told MUTV that he will implement “a few changes” to his starting XI and make full use of the strong squad at his disposal.

“[There are] no injuries to be concerned about,” he told Mark Sullivan. “Obviously it was Wednesday night [against Newcastle] and it’s Saturday morning [against Reading] so there will be a few changes. Many of them have played four games on the bounce and are feeling the Christmas period so there might be a couple of changes, or maybe a few more, but we’re ready for Reading.

“Definitely, players will get the chance. When they’re here, they’re good enough to play for Man United and you trust them, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”


The Royals, who sit second from bottom in the Championship, could welcome back defenders Chris Gunter and Liam Moore for Saturday’s tie. Moore returned from injury in their last outing against Swansea City but was only fit enough for a place on the bench, while Gunter has not played since a 1-1 draw against Rotherham on 15 December.

However, the visitors will be without Leandro Bacuna and former United defender Tyler Blackett – both of whom are suspended following red cards against Millwall.

Long-term absentees Paul McShane, Saeid Ezatolahi and Jordan Obita will also miss the game through injury, while Dutch midfielder Pelle Clement left the club on Wednesday to join PEC Zwolle in his homeland. Ex-Red John O'Shea is expected to be involved.

Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.

Vote for our Goal of the Month


Watch the eight United goals on our shortlist for December and cast your vote.

Rashford is imitating legends


Why Rashford had shades of Solskjaer and Ronaldo in his game at Newcastle - and what Gary Neville said about him.

Highlights: Newcastle 0 United 2 Video

Highlights: Newcastle 0 United 2

See how Ole's Reds earned a 2-0 win over Newcastle at St James' Park last January...

Newcastle 0 United 2


The wins keep coming as the Reds secure a fourth consecutive victory.