FA Cup Quarter Final Match Preview: Manchester City vs. Reading
Possibly the least interesting of the four fixtures on the docket this weekend comes between the Citizens and the Royals. However, that very belief that it wont be to hotly contested is all the more reason to believe that it just might be. The Royals are on a seven game unbeaten run including their victory over Everton in the last round of the FA Cup and are also charging for the promotional playoff spots in the Championship.
Manchester City are still surviving in the Europa League but suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Andriy Shevchenko's Dynamo Kiev yesterday. Their recent league form has seen them struggling for consistency as they chase Manchester United who is looking shaky in the lead ahead of City and Arsenal.
With the Citizens primarily still looking to hunt for the premiership and secure Champions League Football next season I look for them to field a weaker team to race the last remaining Championship side in belief that they will be roll-over opponents. Carlos Tevez will need to push his team mates to get a result.
However, I believe Reading will take it to Manchester City as they have truly nothing to loose and everything to gain in their hunt for a Cup. Claiming another Premiership teams scalp would only fuel their players to push harder to get back into the top flight and to poach a piece of Silverware from the grasp of seven Premiership clubs would be a magnificent accomplishment.
Manchester City I think will expect to win and field a lesser squad and Reading will take advantage of their great form of late. I expect Shane Long to lead the charge and give the Royals a 1-2 victory at the City of Manchester Stadium taking them back to the semi-finals for the first time since 1927.