Manchester United vs. Reading
Fresh off a more than acceptable result against Real Madrid in the Champions League, the Red Devils will now try and get the job done in the FA Cup. They'll entertain Reading this weekend.
Ahead of Monday's fixture at Old Trafford, United is trading at 1/4 (-400) to get the win, while Reading is the significant underdog at 11/1 (+1100) on the Soccer Odds board. Even a draw (5/1) seems like a longshot.
Perhaps a handicap wager would be the better road to take. You can back the Red Devils to win by more than two goals at 8/5, or you take United to be winning by both half-time and full-time at a reasonable offering of 8/11.
United will be feeling quite good about themselves after going into Madrid and getting a 1-1 draw, and a crucial away goal, against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League tie.
Danny Welbeck was the goalscorer for the Red Devils, but it was David De Gea, returning to his old stomping grounds, who was the man of the match. He made numerous world-class saves to keep United in the match.
Life is good right now if you're a United fan. They're 12 points clear of City in the Premier League standings and are still very much in the mix in Europe and the FA Cup.
To get to this point in the competition, the Red Devils needed two chances to put West Ham away in the third round. In the fourth, it was much easier, as United steamrolled over Fulham in a 4-1 win at home.
Speaking of home, the Red Devils have been outstanding at Old Trafford, as you'd expect. In 13 Premier League matches there they've lost just once, while recording a goal differential of plus-19.
The main focus for the Royals right now should be to do whatever it takes to stay in the top flight. They're currently in the relegation zone alongside Wigan Athletic and QPR, but they're only one point behind Aston Villa.
A nice run in the FA Cup is always a treat for the fans too, but expectations should be measured.
Why? Reading has benefited from easy draws in both Round 3 and 4. They beat League One Crawley Town 3-1 and then topped League One Sheffield United 4-0 to book a date with the Red Devils in Round 5.
For the Royals to have any chance here on Monday, they'll need to make the most of their limited amount of chances.
That task will mainly fall on the shoulders of Adam Le Fondre, who has scored a team-best 10 goals in the league thus far. He's also scored twice in Reading's two FA Cup games.
FA Cup Pick
There's little reason to expect a dropoff from United, especially since Sir Alex Ferguson has the luxury of a large squad to choose from.
Just look at their recent encounter with Real and you'll see what we mean. The likes of Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverley, Antonio Valencia, Anderson and Chris Smalling all started on the bench. Now that this side is mostly healthy, the amount of depth to the squad is quite astounding.
Reading gave United a run for their money in their league meeting back at the Madejski Stadium in early December, but we don't like their chances of keeping pace up in Manchester.
Free Football Tips: Take Manchester United 3 - Reading 1 for your football betting this Saturday.
Head on over to our soccer handicapping forums to chat about this game, as well as the other FA Cup matches coming up over the weekend. And be sure to check out our live SBRodds page for the updated lines.Get more FA Cup actions right here~