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Manchester United v Reading: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time, preview and how to watch FA Cup clash with BT Sport

Everything you need to know about how to watch a Man Utd v Reading live stream with BT Sport as the Red Devils begin their FA Cup campaign.

Manchester United's 2018/19 FA Cup campaign begins this weekend with a third-round tie against Championship strugglers Reading.

We'll be live from Old Trafford at 12pm on Saturday, January 5th on BT Sport 2 HD and BT Sport 4K UHD to see if the Red Devils can maintain their perfect start to life under new manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Join now to watch Man Utd v Reading exclusively live on BT Sport

BT Sport subscribers can watch a Man Utd v Reading live stream on BTSport.com or on the award-winning BT Sport app, with both digital platforms showing the game in 360° and via our revolutionary enhanced player. 

The game is part of a thrilling weekend of FA Cup action across the BT Sport network, beginning on Friday night, when you can watch live coverage of Tottenham's clash with League Two Tranmere Rovers on BT Sport 2 and in 4K UHD.

Saturday evening sees Arsenal take on Blackpool on BT Sport 2 before non-league Woking host Watford on Sunday afternoon, completing our third round coverage. 

Man Utd v Reading: Match preview

United will be bidding to maintain their remarkable resurgence since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.

Mourinho was sacked two-and-a-half years into his reign following a disappointing start to the season that saw United slip nineteen points behind league leaders Liverpool.

His departure has had an instantaneous effect on the dressing room and in the stands after months of toxic negativity.

Solskjaer, who has been named interim manager until the end of the season, has brought the feel-good factor back to the club, becoming only the second United manager in the club's history to win his opening four league games in charge since the great Sir Matt Busby.

The Norwegian, who scored 91 goals during his 11-year stay at the club as a player, has quickly established a free-flowing, attacking brand of football that has thrilled fans and seen United score 14 goals in his first four games at the helm.

Paul Pogba, who had fallen out of favour with Mourinho following a number of high-profile fall-outs with the ex-Chelsea boss, has been one of the chief beneficiaries of the change in management.

The 2018 World Cup winner has rediscovered his form since Mourinho's dismissal, scoring four times and providing three assists since Solskjaer's first game against Cardiff.

But the Norwegian has insisted he cannot take credit for the Frenchman's improved performances.

"I cannot do anything for their performances on the pitch; Paul has done it," said Solskjaer.

"I'm here to keep them on the path and it's up to them when they get a chance - that's the name of the game as a footballer.

"I gave some guidelines of course on expression, freedom of expression but that's how I've always been as a manager - just enjoy playing for this club. That's the best time of your life, but it's not a bad time to be manager for a while."

By contrast, United's FA Cup opponents Reading are languishing near the bottom of the Championship where they are without a win in nine matches, having only netted one goal in their past five games.

Ex-Derby and Swansea boss Paul Clement was given his marching orders in early December after just nine months in charge at Reading following a dreadful start to the season that saw the Royals slip to 21st in the table.

Clement has been succeeded by relative unknown Portuguese, Jose Gomes - who was appointed two days before Christmas.

Gomes, 48, has had spells in charge of Al-Taawoun, Baniyas, Al-Ahli and Aves, before his most recent role at Portuguese first division side, Rio Ave. 

Reading will be buyoed by their goalless draw with Queens Park Rangers last weekend, ending a run of back-to-back defeats and denying QPR a fourth successive victory.

United and Reading met at this exact stage of the competition last year when the Red Devils secured a comfortable 4-0 victory at the Theatre of Dreams. 

Marcus Rashford scored a brace that day and the 21-year-old has been given a new lease of life under Solsjkaer. 

Like Pogba, Rashford has been liberated by the change of management at Old Trafford. The England international put in a superb performance in his preferred position as centre-forward, scoring one and setting up another against the Cherries. 

"Marcus has been different class since I came in," said Solskjaer after the match. "He's got all the chances in the world, all the potential to be a top, top, top striker."

Saturday's game will see defender John O'Shea return to the club where he won five Premier League titles, one Champions League trophy and one FA Cup in a 12-year career at Old Trafford.

The former Republic of Ireland international, who joined Reading on a one-year contract after seven years at Sunderland, has backed Solskjaer to get the United job on a full-time basis.

"He's making a hell of an impression to get the job, that's for sure," said O'Shea on his former United teammate of eight years.

"Everything's going in his favour at the minute, but I hope he stays unbeaten in the league and gets knocked out of the cup.

"If he keeps that run going, if he has success in - hopefully not the FA Cup - but the Champions League, and carries on the run in the league, he'll be putting himself as a frontrunner for the job.

"He'll want to carry on that momentum he's created early on, and he'll definitely be under consideration."

On Friday Solskjaer revealed he has not spoken to United's hierarchy on his long-term position in that club, despite his spectacular start to life as manager. 

"I have not spoken to anyone," he said. "It is early doors. When I came in, they were open and honest about the process of looking for the next manager.

"The more you are here, the more you enjoy it. When they announce the next manager, whether it is me or someone else, good luck to them."

Man Utd v Reading: Team news

Solksjaer has confirmed that Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will both make rare starts on Saturday. 

Sanchez, who recently has recovered from a hamstring injury, declared himself fit before his side's 4-1 win over Bournemouth last Sunday but Solskjaer decided against rushing the forward back into action after over a month on the sidelines. 

Defender Chris Smalling is a major doubt having not played since mid-December after picking up a foot injury during the build up to last month's clash with Liverpool.

Marcos Rojo remains sidelined through injury while Eric Bailly misses out as he serves the second game of his suspension for a red card against Bournemouth.

Solskjaer also revealed Pogba is a doubt after sustaining a 'knock' in United's win over Newcastle in midweek. 

He said: “I'm not sure if Paul [Pogba] is going to be ready for this one. He got a knock against Newcastle and hopefully Fellaini will get through the training session today and then we're more or less a full squad."

According to a number of local media reports, Solskjaer is set to use the FA Cup tie to blood a number of young prospects, including Mason Greenwood.

Greenwood, 17, is highly-regarded at Old Trafford after a number of impressive performances for the club's under-18s side this season.

Solskjaer recently insisted he will be committed to giving youth a chance while he remains in charge at Old Trafford.

“Young players will definitely get a chance – that is a big part of this job," he said.

“It’s part of the tradition and history of the club to give young players a chance.

“I will speak to Nicky Butt (academy manager) because he will know who is ready and at some point in the New Year it will happen.

“It’s a big part of my job now. I have been on the other side, working with the reserves. I know how important it is to see that link to the first team.”

Solskjaer will lilkely hand Rashford a much-deserved rest on Saturday after admitting he is ready to make 'a few changes' for the visit of Reading.

Man Utd v Reading: The Managers

Solskjaer on FA Cup chances: "We’re about winning trophies of course.

“The FA Cup final is such a fantastic final. I played in the 1999 one at Wembley and, after having watched so many finals as a kid, to be able to make that long walk up from the dressing room to the pitch was fantastic.

"That’s what we hope for.”

Gomes on Old Trafford opportunity: "All the games are good opportunities for the players who start to show what they can really do as football players. We have one more game that they will get in their hands, to show that they can do it.

"It's a special game, playing away against Man United. They're a very strong team, now they're playing with a different dynamic - it looks like the players are more comfortable with the way they are playing now.

"It will be a very tough game for us, but it's a football game so everything can happen. We have a small light that can give us some hope, that we can play our football, play good football, and the result - we don't know. Everything can happen."

Man Utd v Reading: Match facts

  • Manchester United have lost just one of their 14 FA Cup matches against Reading (W8 D5) and are unbeaten against them in the competition since a 1-2 defeat in a second round three replay back in January 1927 (W7 D2).
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions against Reading (W12 D4), winning each of the last five – a run that started in the FA Cup back in January 1936.
  • Since a 1-2 defeat against Swansea in round three of the 2013-14 FA Cup, Manchester United have won each of their four such games at this stage without conceding a single goal.
  • This will be the seventh consecutive season Reading will be starting their FA Cup campaign away from home, winning two, drawing two and losing two of their previous six third round games.

Man Utd v Reading: Match odds

Man Utd 1/8

Draw 7/1

Reading 14/1

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