BT Sport pundit Michael Owen thinks Sheffield United may only sneak through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup when they face Championship side Reading tomorrow night.
The former Liverpool and Manchester United striker thinks the Blades may take their eye off the ball slightly due to their focus on the league and he is predicting a tight affair at the Madejski Stadium:
“Sheffield United have continued to confound expectations with their league form taking them within touching distance of the Champions League spots.”
“Owing to the Blades’ league position, there is a chance the Cup might not be their highest priority, so a convincing win against a hungry Reading side won’t be easy to come by. However, I fancy that they’ll just about get the job done against a spirited Reading.”
Owen has gone for a 2-1 win for United. Much will depend on how manager Chris Wilder decides to approach the tie. So far, he has opted to rotate for cup competitions.
In the last round against Millwall, he started Phil Jagielka, Mo Besic, Luke Freeman, Kieron Freeman, Ben Osborn and Callum Robinson; none of which were regulars in the Premier League.
Even so, they were comfortable 2-0 winners on the day, and with Reading sitting further down the Championship table than the Lions, Wilder may feel that he can make a few changes once again tomorrow without risking the result.