This Friday the 16th of August, United U23’s host Reading u23’s at the Leigh sports village. This is the first home game of the season for Neil Wood’s men, he will be hoping his side are able to continue where they left off from last Friday and pick up another 3 points.
It was a great start last week for the newly appointed manager and assistant manager, Neil Wood and Quinton Fortune, respectively. After playing their first game in the Leasing.com trophy and coming out 2-0 winners against League one side Rotherham United, Neil Wood then took his side to West Brom, even without big names such as Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, and Mason Greenwood. United was able to run out convincing winners and brushing the midlands side aside by 5 goals to nil.
At this moment there are four promising young players who first-team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keeping close to his first-team squad and they are: Gomes, Chong, Greenwood, and Garner. While it was the latter, who at 18 years old is the second youngest of the four, grasped his opportunity in the u23’s by grabbing two great goals. James Garner may not be getting the minutes in the first team like his three other teammates, but that doesn’t mean United and Ole are not keeping an eye on him. Many comparisons have been made of Garner being very similar to first-team coach Michael Carrick.
As stated, United come into this off the back of two great wins for the side and will be full of confidence going into the first home game of the season. It is yet unknown if Neil Wood will be able to call upon the disposal of Gomes and Chong, due to the possibility of them being named in the first-team squad for the trip to Wolverhampton on Monday night. It is more than likely Mason Greenwood will be unavailable due to being with Ole and the first team, especially after being brought on from the bench for the final 10 minutes in the previous game against Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, it could have been an opportunity for young goalkeeper Joel Pereira to get some minutes under his belt, however, the young Portuguese has gone out on loan to Scottish side Hearts. This comes after manager Ole Solskjaer mentioning in pre-season about him possibly going out on loan to an English side in the championship, but nothing never materialised. Due to Joel leaving Kovar will keep his regular spot of being u23 number one.
Reading come into this fixture in jubilant mood after picking up three points against Newcastle United and demolishing them 6-0 in the process. Andrija Novakovich struck a hat-trick, Thierry Nevers grabbed two and Tyler Frost scored one as the Royals ran riot in the pouring rain (ReadingFC.co.uk). The Berkshire side was also able to welcome first-team player, Jordan Obita, back after almost two years of being sidelined with an injury. The left-back again could be involved to try and get his first 90 minutes under his belt this season.
United: Kovar; Laird, O’Connor, Bernard, Williams; Garner, Levitt; Puigmal, Galbraith, Ramazani; Mellor.
Reading: Andrésson, Gunter, Obita, Burley, Odimayo, Frost, East, Holsgrove, McCleary, Nevers, Novakovich.