With a heartbreaking loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League and an underwhelming draw vs. Chelsea in the FA Cup looming in the rear-view mirror, Manchester United will seek to revitalise their season with a resounding win this Saturday.
Manager-less Reading visit Old Trafford, looking to pull off an unlikely victory that would boost their chances of surviving the dreaded drop.
Here is a preview of this weekend's clash, complete with injury news, projected lineups and match facts.
In terms of injuries and suspensions, Manchester United have gone relatively unscathed in the calendar year to date.
Paul Scholes and Phil Jones remain doubtful for the game as they nurse ankle and knee injuries respectively (via Fantasy Football Scout).
For Reading, Russian big man Pavel Pogrebnyak is suspended for the clash, having picked up a three-match ban following a red card incident in a game against Wigan Athletic.
Jason Roberts is out, while Jimmy Kebe and Adam Federici are both serious doubts.
Phil Jones: ankle injury, doubtful
Paul Scholes: knee Injury, doubtful
Darren Fletcher: illness, unavailable
Pavel Pogrebnyak: suspension
Jason Roberts: hip injury, unavailable
Jimmy Kebe: groin injury, doubtful
Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to rotate his team for Saturday's game, as his players continue to recover from a busy winter period.
According to the Scotsman, his team's chances against Chelsea were affected as "towards the end of the first half the players' legs were starting to go" (via ManUtd.com).
This being said, United will still be aware of complacency creeping in as they enter the final phase of the season.
With Brian McDermott having been sacked this week, caretaker boss Eamonn Dolan will be in charge of Reading's team selection at Old Trafford.
Expect the likes of Adam Le Fondre, Jobi McAnuff and Adrian Mariappa to keep their places in the first XI.
Manchester United: David de Gea, Rafael, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Robin van Persie.
Reading: Stuart Taylor, Stephen Kelly, Alex Pearce, Adrian Mariappa, Ian Harte, Mikele Leigertwood, Hope Akpan, Jobi McAnuff, Garath McCleary, Hal Robson-Kanu, Adam Le Fondre.
Manchester United: WWWLD
Manchester United had been in perhaps the best form of any top team in Europe heading into their Champions League clash with Real Madrid last week, but a loss in that game and the subsequent draw with Chelsea last weekend has dampened spirits around Old Trafford.
Reading's recent form in Britain's top league has been abysmal—the key reason for McDermott's sacking.
Manchester United: Robin van Persie
Manchester United fans will be hesitant to admit it, but star striker Robin van Persie has looked seriously off the pace in recent weeks.
Having set the Premier League alight with his stunning strike rate earlier this season, the Dutchman is now going through a serious dry spell in front of goal.
He has scored only once in over 500 minutes of action. He'll be needed to up his game, and what better time to start than this weekend?
Reading: Alex Pearce
Having greatly impressed during the first half of the campaign, the aura around central defender Alex Pearce seems to have dimmed of late.
Now restored to the starting lineup having been dropped for a couple of games last month, Pearce will be key to stopping a team desperate to rack up a few goals in front of their home crowd.
Real Madrid have been the only team to have beaten the Red Devils in their last 20 games in all competitions.
Before that Champions League second leg, United hadn't conceded two goals in a game since a fixture with West Ham on January 5. They've now let in four in two games.
United have scored 19 goals from set pieces, six more than any other team with.
Despite losing their last five games, before that, Reading had won six of eight in all competitions.
The side has only failed to score once this year—in a 3-0 home defeat to Wigan last month.
Reading have the lowest percentage for possession per game in the Premier League with 39.7 percent.
They also have the lowest pass completion percentage with 69 percent.
Who do you think will emerge victorious when the two sides meet this Saturday? What will be the score?