Reading vs Sheffield United preview: Royals looking to cause major upset against Wilder's high flying Blades
(Photo by Getty Images/Catherine Ivill)

Reading host Premier League high flyers Sheffield United as they look to move one step closer to a Wembley semi-final.

The Royals have had a history of causing FA Cup upsets with the most prominent one coming in the 2015/16 season when the side from Berkshire knocked out Premier League side at the time West Brom with a 3-1 comprehensive win at the Madejski Stadium.

In the season prior to 2015/16, the Royals managed to progress to the semi-final at Wembley where they fell to a hard fought 2-1 defeat against FA Cup specialists Arsenal.

So it's not impossible to see a Reading upset on the cards as they have competed well against Premier League teams in the past.

However, with Sheffield United having extra time to prepare specifically for this game due to Aston Villa's commitments to the Carabao Cup final, their freshness could prove to be a significant factor as the match goes on.

READ: Reading vs Sheffield United shorter preview 

Form and how both sides got to this round

Last Five games in all competitions: 

Reading FC- W/L/L/W/L

Sheffield United- D/W/W/W/L

The Royals had to take it to a replay to eventually progress past fellow Championship side Cardiff City.

Whilst Sheffield United were able to defeat Millwall in one leg after they defeated the Lions 2-0 at the Den in the fourth round.

                         Match Information

Date: Tuesday, March 3rd.

Kick-off: 20:00 (8pm, GMT).

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Venue: Madejski Stadium.

How to watch: The game will be shown live on the FA Cup's official Facebook page.

VAVEL coverage: Our reporter Danyal Khan will be at the match covering the game.

Team News

While Mark Bowen has insisted that he will name his strongest Reading XI, it would come as a surprise if he kept an unchanged team.

Liam Moore could come back into the side after illness, potentially at the expense of Matt Miazga who played his first 90 minutes in a month on Saturday.

Ayub Timbe Masika is also pushing for his first start since his January arrival.

For the visitors, Lys Mousset could be handed a recall by United boss Wilder, with Oli McBurnie possibly dropping down to the substitutes' bench.

However, Richairo Zivkovic is also an option down the middle with the Dutchman yet to make an appearance in his first month at Bramall Lane.

John Lundstram may replace Sander Berge in midfield, while versatile Panagiotis Tetsos will hope to be given his debut in one of the defensive positions.

Predicted starting line-ups 

Reading's predicted starting line-up: Cabral; Yiadom, Moore, Miazga, Obita; Pele, Rinomhota, Swift; Ejaria, Meite; Puscas. 

Sheffield United's predicted starting line-up: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Retsos, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; Sharp, Mousset.

Head to Head

These two sides have met 43 times over the years in all competitions with the Blades slightly edging the head to head.

The Blades have defeated the Royals on 19 occassions in all competitions including the double they did against Reading in the Championship last season.

There have been 7 draws between these two sides, whilst Reading have defeated the Blades on 17 occasions over the years which is still a good record to have ahead of the match tomorrow in the FA Cup.

Manager comments ahead of the match

The Reading boss has promised the fans that he will pick the strongest team possible for this FA Cup match, when speaking to the clubs official website, he said:

“We’ve got a huge game for the club now against Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Tuesday night. And it’s a big test for us," he said.

"I’m going to play the strongest team I can. We’re playing a Premier League team here at home and I’m sure they will play the strongest team they can too.

"We’ll have a good atmosphere here, I know we will. Hopefully we’ll get a good crowd in because a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup is at stake."

Bowen is looking forward to the test, whilst he is hoping to have his key players available for selection.

"So as I say, we’ll count the bodies, see how Liam Moore is after his illness, see how Matt Miazga is after playing the full ninety this afternoon, and then I'll pick the strongest team in my mind who can have a go at getting this club into the last eight."

"They’ll come here and produce everything they do in Premier League games. It’ll be a really, really tough game for us. The whole country know what Sheffield United are capable of now.

"But it's exciting for the fans and the players. It will be all over on the night one way or another. If it’s a draw, it will end up being extra time and penalties."

After the game Reading could be one more tie away from Wembley, something which excites the manager.

"And it’s probably the biggest game of the season for us, because there is a quarter-final place at stake. It would be absolutely fantastic if we could leave here on Tuesday night knowing we were in the FA Cup quarter-final and bring some of that feel good factor to the club.

"It is a distraction from the Championship, but it’s a nice distraction. And I'll pick the strongest side in my mind that can go and try to win the tie."

Wilder admitted today that he has been having selection headaches ahead of the match due to the fact that everyone is playing so well and training well. The United fans are hoping to see a few of the new January additions in action tomorrow night.

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