Manchester United share dismal 2019 FA Cup lineup vs Reading, there's only ONE first teamer left
| Last updated
It's fair to say Manchester United have undergone some major changes since they last met Reading in the FA Cup.
That's not lost on anyone. Not least Erik ten Hag, who will take charge of a very different set of players in the fourth round cup tie at Old Trafford tonight (Saturday, 8pm kick off).
United were in good form back in January 2019 when they welcomed Reading for a third round FA Cup clash, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sealing his fifth successive win since taking over from Jose Mourinho as manager.
Four years on and there are very few survivors from that side – with just four of the 11 still at the club and only one player now a regular starter under Ten Hag – which shows the extent of the club's development.
Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata got the goals that day, as United strolled to a 2-0 victory.
But both goalscorers, plus starters Sergio Romero, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian, Andreas Pereira and Alexis Sanchez have since left the club, as well as four of the seven named substitutes.
Only Diogo Dalot of the 11 players to start that day has been able to call himself a regular under Ten Hag, with Fred and Scott McTominay surviving through the Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick eras – although they're now simply squad players under Ten Hag.
Phil Jones played four years ago and is still contracted to the club, but is perenially unavailable through injury and hasn't featured under the Dutchman at all.
Dalot is also unavailable for tonight's match with Reading, although he's forced his way back into the first team reckoning in the past year or so.
Fred and McTominay are likely to start as Ten Hag rotates his side, although Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes are the manager's usual midfield starters.
Tahith Chong, Marouane Fellaini and Marcus Rashford came off the bench for United in that 2019 game. Only Rashford remains of that trio – and is again a first teamer thanks to a recent revival of form under Ten Hag – but he may be rested this evening.
This was our Starting XI last time we played Reading, in 2019....#MUFC pic.twitter.com/h3yYkAPnSp— Stretford Paddock (@StretfordPaddck) January 27, 2023
Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial – both still at United – were among the unused subs four years ago, with fellow benchwarmers from that day Lee Grant and James Garner departing last summer.
Tonight, United could hand starts to youngster Alejandro Garnacho, as well as reserve goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Wout Weghorst is expected to continue up front in the absence of Martial.
Summer signings Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez, who have both strengthened the defence significantly – in contrast to the days of Young, Jones and Darmian – could also start against Reading tonight.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy
Topics: Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag, FA Cup, Reading