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Three Manchester United players who should start against Reading in the FA Cup

Manchester United continue the quest for their first FA Cup trophy since 2015/16 as they host Reading at Old Trafford in the fourth round on Saturday.

Erik ten Hag may be looking to shuffle his pack and give some rest to his key players.

The Dutchman will have one eye on Carabao Cup’s second leg scheduled for next week. The Red Devils are virtually through to the final after an emphatic 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in their first meeting.

United are still alive in four competitions and have a cramped fixture list ahead of them. Testing their bench strength against Championship outfit Reading may be a useful idea for the upcoming games.

Here are the three players we think should feature in the final XI.

Harry Maguire

Even after strong performances at the World Cup, Maguire has failed to establish himself at the heart of United’s defence. 

The 29-year-old missed the game against Forest due to suspension, which allowed Victor Lindelof to partner Lisandro Martinez. However, he should be given the nod to start against Reading. 

With Raphael Varane and Martinez forming a robust partnership, Maguire has been forced to warm the bench. He last started in United’s 3-0 victory over Charlton in the Carabao Cup.

Alejandro Garnacho

The 18-year-old has been United’s breakthrough star of the season and should be given the chance to replace Marcus Rashford.

The England star has terrorised defenders from his bursting runs through the left flank but a weekend off will help him to re-energise himself. 

Garnacho has created havoc on the left wing whenever he is given an opportunity. 

He has bagged two goals and recorded four assists this season. His direct style of football can cause plenty of problems for Reading’s defenders who probably will sit deep at Old Trafford. 


Casemiro and Christian Eriksen have been indispensable in the centre of midfield, which has curtailed Fred’s game-time.

The 29-year-old did a great job against Manchester City, man-marking Kevin de Bruyne which helped United to secure the victory.

He should start as a number 8, replacing Eriksen in midfield. He will bring energy and tenacity to the pitch, something the Old Trafford crowd adore.

If Casemiro is also given a rest, we may see him slot alongside Scott McTominay in the centre of the park.