Man United v Reading
Saturday 5 January, 12:30
Live on BT Sport

Feel-good factor

United have won four out of four since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge, all against teams in the bottom half of the Premier League table. The interim manager's kind early fixture list continues in the FA Cup third round with a home tie against Championship strugglers Reading.
The feel-good factor has certainly returned to Old Trafford with Solskjaer's impact, which has taken United to a more challenging position in sixth place in the Premier League, now just three points behind Arsenal in fifth and six off fourth-placed Chelsea.
He is certain to rotate his squad after the busy Christmas period and he has already stated his commitment to blooding some of United's most promising youngsters. One name on everybody's lips is Mason Greenwood, 17, who has put in a string of impressive performances for the club's under-18s this season.
Solskjaer can also call on plenty of experience and quality, with Alexis Sanchez likely to make his first start for the new manager after coming on as a second-half substitute and setting up the second goal in Wednesday's 2-0 win at Newcastle.
Romelu Lukaku, who has scored twice as a sub under Solskjaer, could also get his first start for the new manager.
Defender Eric Bailly is serving the second part of a three-match suspension for his red card against Bournemouth last week.

Gomes in losing battle

In contrast to United, Reading have had no positive effect from a change of manager. Jose Gomes has had three Championship matches in charge and Reading have scored only one goal and taken a solitary point.
In their latest match on Tuesday, the Royals fell apart at home to Swansea, shipping three first-half goals and eventually losing 4-1. That leaves them second-bottom of the Championship, five points from safety, after managing just four wins from 26 matches.
Gomes has a selection dilemma, with his choice lying between resting some first-team players in readiness for the Championship battles ahead or keeping them in and using this match to find some cohesiveness.

United are fast starters

The recent form of both sides points to an easy home win, even with Solskjaer likely to make changes.
United are overwhelming favourites at 1.13 and many punters will be looking for ways to boost the odds on a big win.
The Reds have scored five, three, four and two goals in their games under Solskjaer and now they face much weaker opposition, while the new manager will surely be keen to maintain the momentum rather than settling for a routine win.
The bet that appeals is United to win both halves at 10/11 with Betfair Sportsbook.There is a good chance the hosts will win to nil, given that Reading have scored in only three of their last nine Championship games, and United have been fast starters under Solskjaer, scoring before the half-hour mark in three of their four matches.
One positive for Reading is that their away record in the Championship is not that bad, albeit with only one win (W1 D6 L6), and their goals against is 19 in 13 away games. Most of the figures come from Paul Clement's reign, however, and their capitulation at home against Swansea was alarming.

High-score potential

With United being encouraged to express themselves and averaging 3.5 goals per gameunder Solskjaer, a high-scoring game looks on the cards.
Reading looked disorganised in defence and lacking midfield bite against Swansea, which is a recipe for disaster unless Gomes can find a quick fix.
This has the potential to go Over 3.5 goals, in which case it is worth considering any other home win at 2.58 in correct score as that includes a United win where they score four goals or more.

Opta Stat

Since a 1-2 defeat against Swansea in round three of the 2013-14 FA Cup, Manchester United have won each of their four such games at this stage without conceding a single goal. United are 1.62 to win to nil.
Back Man United to win both halves @ 10/11

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