Published January 13, 2015
Manchester United has endured a disappointing run of results over the last couple of weeks.
Fortunately for the Red Devils, that dip in form has not put a damper on their 12-point lead in the Premier League table.
United was ousted from the Champions League by Real Madrid last week before a lackluster second half against Chelsea on Sunday put the club's FA Cup future in doubt with a 2-2 draw.
But Sir Alex Ferguson's men can make it a successful season by prying the Premier League title away from Manchester City, and the final phase of that quest begins Saturday when they welcome lowly Reading to Old Trafford.
Ashley Young has issued a warning that the vast experience in United's squad will help ensure that the Red Devils do not falter in pursuit of a 20th top- flight league title.
"When you move to a club like United, you look at the trophy cabinet and what they have won," Young said. "In the dressing room everybody is a born winner. The manager gives you that belief to win every game and win trophies.
"At a club like Manchester United winning is a habit. You go into every game wanting to win and there is a disappointment when you don't do it, and that includes during training. Even there, it is the same winning mentality you take that on to the pitch in games."
Reading are hitting a transitional period at a crucial time. The Royals come into the weekend second from bottom in the league with 23 points and four straight losses. The club sacked manager Brian McDermott this week to allow Eamonn Dolan to fill the vacancy on a caretaker basis, but if the results do not improve, Reading may find itself back in the Championship next season.
City will be hopeful of applying some added pressure on United when the Citizens take on Everton at Goodison Park earlier on Saturday. It will be no easy task as City has beaten Everton just once in the seven meetings between the two clubs under Mancini's guidance.
Also on Saturday, Liverpool will attempt to build upon an impressive win over Tottenham last time out as the Reds head to St. Mary's to take on Southampton, Aston Villa hosts QPR in a relegation six-pointer at Villa Park, Stoke City meets West Bromwich at the Britannia and Arsenal heads to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City.
On Sunday, Tottenham hopes to retain third place with maximum points over Fulham at White Hart Lane, Chelsea attempts to keep pace with a positive result against West Ham at Stamford Bridge, Sunderland takes on Norwich City at the Stadium of Light and Newcastle heads to the DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic.