Michael Owen predicts Derby County v Reading

Michael Owen

Former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen looks ahead to Saturday’s FA Cup tie between Derby County and Reading.

Former Manchester United and Liverpool star Michael Owen has predicted in his Betvictor.com column that Derby County will reach the sixth round of the FA Cup.

Derby will take on fellow Championship outfit Reading in the fifth round of the competition at the iPro Stadium on Saturday.

The Rams are having a very good season and are on course to gain promotion back to the Premier League.

Steve McClaren’s side are currently third in the Championship table with 58 points from 30 matches, just a point behind leaders Middlesbrough.

Owen, a former Newcastle United and Stoke City star, believes that Derby will get the better of Reading on Saturday.

“Whilst promotion back to the Premier League must be the primary objective for Steve McClaren and all at the iPro they are in such good form that I would be surprised if they didn’t reach the sixth round at the first attempt,” the 35-year-old wrote on Betvictor.com.

“Leading scorer Chris Martin is likely to be missing through injury but the Rams have enough strength in depth in their squad to cope with his absence and will be desperate to finish the tie in 90 minutes."

Can Reading stun Derby?

Given that Derby are the hosts, many football followers will fancy them to win, but Reading’s chances cannot be written off just yet.

Steve Clarke’s side are not having a great 2014-15 campaign and are currently 14th in the league table with 37 points from 30 matches, just seven points above the relegation zone.

The Royals are likely to be safe, but one suspects that they will want to progress in the FA Cup and give their fans something to cheer about.

Reading will make it tough for Derby on Saturday, and one should not be surprised if they manage to hold their hosts to a draw over 90 minutes.

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