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Simon Gott 15th Mar 2013 - 23:01

A Royal Nightmare at Theatre of Dreams?

Manchester United v Reading

The questionable sacking of Brian McDermott this week will do little for Reading's (11/1) confidence heading into this clash with runaway leaders Manchester United (11/2, Draw 13/2).

No bottom 3 club have ever stayed up after sacking their boss at this late stage of the season and they go to Old Trafford having lost their last two against fellow relegation contenders Aston Villa and Wigan.

Manchester United will have the bit between their teeth this weekend following the defeat to Real Madrid and last week's Cup draw with Chelsea and will want to put in a better performance that the reverse fixture where 7 goals were scored in the opening 34 mins.

The form guide suggests a 12th home league win on the bounce for United.  They haven't lost to Reading since January 1927.  The Royals lost 2-1 (10/1) at United in the FA Cup last month, but their last league game at Old Trafford was the opening fixture of the 2007-08 campaign, which ended in a goalless draw (22/1).

Manchester United's star striker Robin van Persie (2/1 first/last, 2/5 anytime) has failed to score in his last six league and cup appearances for Manchester United, although he has completed 90 minutes only twice in that run - both legs against Real Madrid. The Dutchman has scored only one goal in his last 10 games for club and country.

The referee for Saturday's match is Mark Clattenburg, who will take charge of his first Premier League game at Old Trafford since overseeing Manchester City's 6-1 win there in October 2011.  (Total match cards: over 6 @ 9/1)

Headline offers

Danny Welbeck to Score and Man Utd to Win   -  6/4

Adam Le Fondre to Score and Reading to Win   -   40/1

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