Manchester United vs Reading Preview: Will Solskjær give youth a chance in FA Cup third round?
United celebrate their recent success against Newcastle United | Photo via Getty Images / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista

Manchester United vs Reading Preview: Will Solskjær give youth a chance in FA Cup third round?

Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will start the FA Cup third round tie against Reading at Old Trafford.

Shoaib Khan

Manchester United will welcome Reading to Old Trafford as the Red Devils' FA Cup journey commences this season.

After a dreadful start to the season that ended any Premier League title hopes early on, and an early Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Frank Lampard's Derby County, the FA Cup presents the only real shot at silverware for United this season. This is, of course, unless Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can miraculously bring the UEFA Champions League trophy to Manchester.

Team news

Solskjaer has confirmed that Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will feature from the first minute in this fixture. The pair, who came on to great effect at Newcastle on Wednesday night, have struggled for form and fitness this season but the hope is they can turn their fortunes around during Solskjaer tenure.

Paul Pogba is unlikely to participate after Jonjo Shelvey's controversial challenge left the Frenchman in a spot of bother on Wednesday night. Although, we could see the likes of Angel Gomes from the academy feature for the first team on Saturday. The young Englishman has already made one appearance under Ole, coming on as a substitute during the home win over Huddersfield Town.

As for Reading, former United defender John O'Shea could feature for The Royals. The Irishman made almost 400 appearances for the club before departing for Sunderland.

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Solskjaer eager for silverware

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken of his fondness for England's oldest competition. The Norweigan, currently in a caretaker role at United, participated in the 1999 FA Cup Final, which Sir Alex Ferguson's side won as part of an unprecedented treble. Ole said, "You know we're about winning trophies, of course, and the FA Cup final is such a fantastic final to play in."

As previously mentioned, the FA Cup is the most realistic chance of silverware for United this season, and Ole is eager to add the honour to his list saying, "I've seen it so many times in Norway and if you end up in a FA Cup final, that's what we hope for."

How have United fared in the competition recently?

The FA Cup has given United fans some good memories in recent time. After their success in 2004, United didn't win another of this title until Louis van Gaal's last game in 2016. The Reds required a superb strike from Jesse Lingard in extra time to overcome Crystal Palace for their 12th success, with only Arsenal (13) holding more.

Last season, Jose Mourinho's Manchester United also made it to the final but were beaten by Chelsea 1-0 due to an Eden Hazard penalty.