MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 02:34:38| >> :120:52412:52412:
Mar 3, 2020 at 8pm UK at Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 15,129
Sheff UtdSheffield United
Puscas (43' pen.)
McGoldrick (2'), Sharp (105')

Preview: Reading vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie between Reading and Sheffield United.

Sheffield United head into Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Reading having had extra time to prepare for the fixture due to Aston Villa's participation in the EFL Cup final.

Meanwhile, Reading play host to the Premier League outfit having returned to winning ways at the weekend with a 2-0 victory over Barnsley in the Championship.

Match preview

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder peers at the action on February 1, 2020© Reuters

In the meetings with AFC Fylde and Millwall, Chris Wilder has made numerous changes to his starting lineup, placing priority on trying to finish as high in the Premier League table as possible.

However, having been afforded a weekend off, the Blades boss may look to his first-teamers to get the club through to the quarter-finals for the second time in six years.

Although Wilder will still have one eye on upcoming fixtures with Norwich City and Newcastle United, he may want his preferred side to shake off the disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Brighton & Hove Albion in their last outing.

Wilder insisted that his players could not have done much more during the tussle with the Seagulls, but he will be desperate to see an extra cutting edge in the final third now that United have gone 16 matches without scoring more than two goals in a game.

Each of his frontmen have gone off the boil since the turn of the year, with Oliver McBurnie and Billy Sharp only having one strike to their name and Lys Mousset yet to get on the scoresheet in 2020.

As far as Reading are concerned, Mark Bowen will be relieved that he can head into this encounter with the Royals having got the better of relegation rivals Barnsley at the weekend.

Reading now have an eight-point cushion above the bottom three after just their second league win in 11 attempts, and more priority can now be placed on trying to advance further in this competition.

Bowen's side have required a replay to overcome Blackpool and Cardiff City in the previous rounds, with seven different players getting themselves on the scoresheet.

That highlights how Bowen has rotated his squad over the coming weeks, although he may be tempted to include his key men now that the club have more breathing space on the Championship scene.

Reading FA Cup form: DWDD
Reading form (all competitions): DLWLLW

Sheffield FA Cup form: WW
Sheffield United form (all competitions): DLWWWD

Team News

Lys Mousset celebrates scoring for Sheffield United against Arsenal on October 21, 2019© Reuters

Mousset could be handed a recall by United boss Wilder, with McBurnie possibly dropping down to the substitutes' bench.

However, Richairo Zivkovic is also an option down the middle with the Dutchman yet to make an appearance in his first month at Bramall Lane.

John Lundstram may replace Sander Berge in midfield, while versatile Panagiotis Tetsos will hope to be given his debut in one of the defensive positions.

While Bowen has insisted that he will name his strongest Reading XI, it would come as a surprise if he kept an unchanged team.

Liam Moore could come back into the side after illness, potentially at the expense of Matt Miazga who played his first 90 minutes in a month on Saturday.

Ayub Timbe Masika is also pushing for his first start since his January arrival.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Yiadom, Moore, Morrison, Obita; Meite, Rinomhota, Swift, Ejaria, Olise; Puscas

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Retsos, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; Sharp, Mousset

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We say: Reading 1-3 Sheffield United

Regardless of whether Wilder makes changes for this contest, we expect the Blades to come through. This could be an opportunity for a number of players to force their way into their starting lineup in the Premier League, a chance we feel they will take against their Championship opponents.

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