This English Premier League game showcases two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Manchester United sits atop the league as they travel to Berkshire to face Reading. With just nine points, Reading is second-to-last in the current EPL table.

United's Robin van Persie electrified the crowd with a strike 33 seconds into Wednesday's action against West Ham United. His goal stood as the difference in a 1-0 victory over the Hammers.

Reading, meanwhile, have lost their last two matches after a surprising win over Everton two short weeks ago. Yahoo! Sports reported manager Brian McDermott has asked his club to stick together though it faces a daunting task on Saturday.

 

Where: Madejski Stadium, Berkshire, England

When: Saturday, December 1, 12:30 p.m. EST

TV: Fox Soccer Channel

 

Reading: Can they pull another surprise to help avoid relegation?

After 13 games and a 1-6-6 record, Reading have valiantly fought but are not fully adjusted to Premier League play.

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Though the win against Everton showed hope, the Royals dropped games to bottom-dwellers Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa within the last week. The losses capped an originally promising November campaign that had earned Reading five points in three fixtures.

Reading faces a tremendous Manchester United squad fresh off two wins in the last previous eight days, so the schedule doesn't get any easier.

Sitting at the bottom of the table is not a thrilling place for the club, but Reading have shocked the opposition once this year. Finding a way to repeat the surprise—this time over United—will be quite a test.

 

Manchester United: Will they remain at the top of EPL table?

This is the sixth time United has entered December leading the EPL. Four of those previous five occurrences ended with a league title, as pointed out by John Ley of the Daily Telegraph.

The Red Devils currently set the standard with 34 points, a single tally over rival Manchester City. Saturday marks the beginning of a brutal stretch with Sir Alex Ferguson's team playing seven league matches from now until January 1.

As mentioned, United has won their two most recent contests, a 3-1 triumph over the Queens Park Rangers and a hard-fought 1-0 victory against West Ham.

Injury must be overcome by the United side on Saturday, however. as ESPN reports the club will be without wingers Nani and Antonio Valencia.

United must fill the void, but Paul Scholes will be available as he returns from suspension. The combination of second-highest EPL scorer Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, the league-leader in assists, makes the issue even less important.

 

Prediction

United have no problem against Reading, who haven't defeated the club since 1927. A formidable attack from Rooney and Van Persie leads United to an impressive 3-0 victory.