ERIK TEN HAG'S desperate hunt for a Manchester United trophy will see them face Reading in the FA Cup fourth round TONIGHT.
The Dutch gaffer is under no illusions of the expectation level he has to work to at Old Trafford – and this game will NOT be taken lightly.
United fielded a full-strength team for their 3-0 Carabao Cup win against Nottingham Forest in the week.
And while Ten Hag will demand victory at all costs against Championship Reading, there could be some shuffling of the pack.
But unfortunately for United legend Paul Ince and his Royals boys, it will just mean hungry United fringe players desperate for their chance to shine.
The likes of Alejandro Garnacho, Facundo Pellistri and Anthony Elanga will be champing at the bit to prove their worth to Ten Hag if given the call.
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Reading, meanwhile will be hoping to spring a shock – but they will have to put their recent form in the second tier behind them.
Ince's troops were whacked 4-0 last time out by Stoke, but were hitting by key players picking up injuries in the lead-up.
The Royals will be desperate to be able to call upon the services of the nomadic Andy Carroll – he missed the Stoke game as his injury troubles continue to affect his career.
Here is Sunsport's big-game preview ahead of the fourth round clash.
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What is their form like?
United bounced back from their dramatic defeat to Arsenal by easing to a 3-0 win against fellow Prem side Nottingham Forest in their Carabao Cup clash in the week.
Ten Hag's troops have won three, drawn one and lost one of their last five games in all competitions.
Ince will be looking for a reaction from his players after they were thumped 4-0 by Stoke last time out in the Championship.
They have won just one of their last five games in all competitions, losing two and drawing the other two.
What is the team news and any injuries to worry about?
Anthony Martial, Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot and Donny van de Beek are all out injured for the game.
Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood are still unavailable, while Luke Shaw is 50-50 to feature after missing the Forest win with illness.
Reading have doubts over Naby Sarr, Sam Hutchinson and Andy Carroll – three of their most experienced players ahead of the game.
They all missed the 4-0 drubbing at Stoke – so boss Ince will be desperate they can shake off niggles to feature against United.
Who will be the star men?
Ten Hag went full strength for the Carabao Cup win against Forest, such is his desperation to win a trophy.
But he could well offer some fringe players a chance to shine against Reading. Alejandro Garnacho has become one of the most-talked about players at Old Trafford and could seize the opportunity.
Andy Carroll will be desperate to roll back the years and come up against United again – but he has been struggling with an ankle injury and could miss out.
So it could be down to the boss' boy Tom Ince to prove he still has the skills to compete against the big boys.
What have the managers said?
Looking ahead to the Reading game after beating Forest in the Carabao Cup, United boss Ten Hag said: "After today, I have something in my head
"But I have to settle this game down and look into my plans and then I have to look into Reading and then we make a good plan to beat Reading."
Reading boss Paul Ince is looking forward to the challenge, saying: "It's a great game for us. We have to go there, suck in the experience and enjoy it. And try to win the game.
And on meeting Ten Hag, he added: "It's always a challenge against any of the top managers. It'll be nice to chat to him afterwards.
"And maybe there will be some ideas I can take from him!"
What are the odds?
Man Utd 2-13
Odds courtesy of Betfair
When is Man Utd vs Reading?
Man Utd will host Reading on Saturday, January 28 at Old Trafford.
Is the match on TV and what channel is it on?
The clash against Reading will be shown live on ITV4.
How can I live stream it (FREE)?
You can follow all the action from this fourth-round clash on SunSport's dedicated match blog.
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Erik ten Hag has been keen to stress the importance of winning trophies as soon as possible – so this competition will NOT be taken lightly.
Reading are stuck in mid-table in the Championship, and while the neutral romantics among us might be looking for a shock, everything points to a Utd win, 3-1.
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