FA Cup holders Manchester United will be at home to Reading in the third round of the 2016/17 competition, with the tie to be played between Friday 6 and Monday 9 January.

United were represented by ball no.25 in Monday evening’s draw, which was made in London by former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Arsenal legend Ian Wright.

The Reds were the third home team to be pulled out and were swiftly paired with the Royals, who are currently third in the Championship under the management of ex-United defender Jaap Stam.

Stam was appointed Reading manager in June this year after several seasons as a coach in his native Netherlands with PEC Zwolle and then Ajax. As a player, he won the FA Cup as part of United’s unpredecented Treble in 1998/99, his first campaign with the club. After leaving the Reds in 2001 he went on to serve Lazio, Milan and Ajax on the pitch.

The Dutchman’s former Reds team-mate Andy Cole told BBC Sport: “No doubt Jaap will get a great reception when he goes back to Old Trafford. He was a superb centre-half for United.”

United last played Reading in March 2013, beating them 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League following a thrilling 4-3 win earlier in the same season, when all seven goals were scored in the first half at the Madejski Stadium.

The two clubs have been drawn against each other in the FA Cup eight times, with the Reds progressing on seven occasions including the fourth-round clash of 1996 (3-0 away) and the fifth-round ties of 2007 (3-2 away after a replay) and 2013 (2-1 at home).

The other cup meetings have all been in the third round – United went through after a replay in 1912 and Reading had their revenge in 1927 following two rematches. The Reds won at the first time of asking in 1936 and again in 1937 but were taken to a second game by the Royals in 1955 before marching on.


For details of United v Reading match tickets, visit www.manutd.com/readingtickets.

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