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Reading hope to enjoy cup tie at Manchester United
READING captain Jobi McAnuff says that the Royals will try to enjoy tonight’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Manchester United.
The Berkshire side have never won at Old Trafford and the hosts will be strong favourites to make sure that continues tonight, with the game being shown live on ESPN (kick-off 8pm).
United go into the game unbeaten in 15, having failed to win just one of 12 Premier League games at home so far this season and off the back of an impressive 1-1 draw away at Real Madrid in the Champions League.
However, Reading winger McAnuff is determined to enjoy the experience and hopes he and his teammates can use the match as a springboard to further success in the Premier League.
“It’s a really big game for us and it’s nice to get a fixture away from the league where we can go and enjoy it,” the Royals skipper said. “I’ve not played there before and there’s not many games bigger in world football than Manchester United at Old Trafford.
“We will be looking forward to it and making sure we’re ready for the league afterwards. We have some massive games coming up and can take a lot of heart from the recent run that we have been on.”
Reading’s defeat at Stoke City last weekend meant an end to a six-game unbeaten run and saw them slip back into the relegation zone.
The Royals will be without centre-back Kaspars Gorkss, who has been allowed to join Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan, while recent signings Hope Akpan and Nick Blackman are both cup-tied.
Alex McCarthy (shoulder) and Jason Roberts (hip) miss out, while Jimmy Kebe and Mikele Leigertwood are both doubts, but Danny Guthrie could feature despite missing the squad’s trip to Dubai to care for his pregnant wife.
Manchester United are expected to shuffle their pack following Wednesday’s draw in Madrid, which could mean a place in the side for Basingstoke-born midfielder Tom Cleverley.
Southampton were without a game this weekend but they have allowed Tadanari Lee to return to Japan on loan.