The Road to Wembley Has Begun

FA Cup: Manchester United F.C. v. Reading F.C. on Saturday Jan. 7, 2017 in the Theater of Dreams. Read the post-match report in about 30 hours — on this website!

Saturday’s FA Cup (The Emirates FA Cup) third-round matchup kicks off at 12:30 GMT. The Road to Wembley has obviously begun in earnest. After winning the competition back in May, 2016 with a thrilling 2-1 extra-time victory over Crystal Palace under Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United is gearing to start the club’s 2017 FA Cup defence. Following an excellent winning run in the Premier League and also following Monday’s triumph over West Ham United at the Olympic Stadium in London, United now hope to secure an eighth consecutive win in all competitions.

United’s Jose Mourinho v. Reading’s Jaap Stam

Manchester United is now geared to meet Reading (The Royals) on Saturday Jan 7, 2017 at Old Trafford. The Royals will come into Saturday’s game on the back of three straight league wins – the most recent of which was a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory at Bristol City – scoring nine goals in the process. Jaap Stam’s men sit third in the Championship standings, just six points adrift of the automatic promotion places, and are targeting a return to the top-flight.

For the record United will be confronting two former Red Devils when Reading comes calling on Saturday. The two members of The Royals’ side who were ex-Reds are defenders Paul McShane and Tyler Blackett who both started their careers at Old Trafford. The former was a member of United’s FA Youth Cup-winning team in 2003, while Blackett made 11 first-team appearances before leaving last summer.

CONCISE BIO: FA Cup

fa-cup-logo

The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in men’s domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world. It is organised by and named after The Football Association (The FA). For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is also known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women’s tournament is also held, the FA Women’s Cup.

The competition is open to any eligible club down to Levels 10 of the English football league system – all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League and Football League (Levels 1 to 4), and several hundred “non-league” teams in Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System (Levels 5 to 10).

In another record, United are unbeaten in the last 24 FA Cup meetings with second-tier sides (W20 D4), and have lost just one of the last six games at this stage of the competition.

reading

CONCISE BIO: Reading F.C.

Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Reading were formed on 25 December 1871.

The club is nicknamed The Royals, due to Reading’s location in the Royal County of Berkshire. The club is one of the oldest teams in England, but did not join The Football League until 1920, and had never played in the top tier of English football league system before the 2006–07 season.

The club competed in the 2012–13 Premier League season, having gained promotion at the end of the 2011–12 season after winning the Championship, but were relegated after just one season back in the top flight.

The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998. In 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, which is named after the club’s co-chairman Sir John Madejski. The club holds the record for the number of successive league wins at the start of a season, with a total of 13 wins at the start of the 1985–86 Third Division campaign and also the record for the number of points gained in the professional league season with 106 points in the 2005–06 Football League Championship campaign. Reading then finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first ever season as a top flight club.

Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920. Reading’s best performance in the FA Cup came in 1926–27 when they lost to eventual winners Cardiff City at Wolverhampton in the semi-final, a placement the club would not match again until 2015, when they lost to holders Arsenal in the semi-final. For the first time in its history, Reading Football Club participated in the Premier League in the 2006–07 season. Jaap Stam is Reading F.C. boss. Jakob “Jaap” Stam, born 17 July 1972, is a Dutch football manager and former player who is currently the manager of Reading.

Reading are coming to Old Trafford on Saturday Jan. 7, 2017 to play Manchester United in the third-round tie of the FA Cup.

Reading may have a rich and checkered history in English football. Reading (The Royals) was founded in 1871 (146 years old) and United was founded in 1878 (139 years old), which makes Reading 7 years older than United. The 7-year age difference not withstanding, United will beat Reading on Saturday at Old Trafford – after all, you’re as old as you think you are.

Let the road to Wembley begin . . .

Up Man U!

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