Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Friday September 10 2010
11th September 2010
After the international break, the Royals are back in action on Saturday and welcome Crystal Palace to the Madejski Stadium. After picking up our first win of the season against Leicester before the break, we will be confident of carrying that on against the Eagles who have lost three games in a row.
Of course there will be no Gylfi Sigurdsson after his departure to Hoffenheim so Brian McDermott will be looking for one of his other players to step up and fill the void left by the Icelandic superstar.
Royals manager Brian McDermott-
'They`ve got an experienced manager in George Burley and good players. I watched a DVD of them against Scunthorpe when they were beaten 3-0, but every time we play them it`s a tough game and we know what to expect.'
Zurab Kizhanishvili on his second debut for the Royals-
'I watched the Leicester game and if you win a game like that it`s hard to change the squad for the next one. I won`t be surprised if I start on the bench as that`s what happened last year. The most important thing is picking up the three points.'
And most obscure quote of the week goes to Shane Long-
'I did`t get chicken nuggets when I was away on international duty, but I`ll have them tonight. With the Italian influence it`s lots of pasta and chicken. So I`m looking forward to treating myself tonight!'
The Royals will welcome Ian Harte and Zurab Kizhanishvili into the squad for the visit of Palace. Harte will start at left back but Kizhanishvili will have to make do with a place on the bench after Alex Pearce and Matt Mills performed well at Leicester.
Andy Griffin is struggling with a hamstring strain and is likely to miss out, so Shaun Cummings will keep his place but switch to right back.
With Sigurdsson gone, there is a vacancy in the team which is sure to be filled by either Noel Hunt or, more likely, Simon Church as Brian McDermott reverts back to a 4-4-2 formation.
Despite having his critics at the Madejski Stadium, the Irish striker is popular with McDermott and our first choice striker. With Gylfi Sigurdsson departed, the time has come for Long to step up and score the goals some of his performances deserve.
Edgar Davids is doubtful after returning home to be with his sick father. James Vaughan has signed on loan from Everton and will go straight into the side.
Star midfielder Darren Ambrose has been cleared of a fractured leg, but might not recover from heavy bruising to make the game.
On loan Everton striker will make his debut for the Eagles, and is sure to cause the Royals defence a number of problems. Has a point to prove to David Moyes and will be keen to show he can still do a job at Goodison.
Wednesday 17th February 2010, Crystal Palace 1-3 Royals.
A double from Simon Church and a Jimmy Kebe goal gave the Royals all three points.
Keith Hill will take charge of this fixture, his first visit to the Madejski Stadium since the 1-0 defeat to Leicester in October 2009. He has not refereed a Reading win since March 2002, when we beat Chesterfield 2-0, and has overseen 5 defeats and 2 draws since that game.
The Royals will be favourites and I think we can record our first home win of the season. I'm backing us to win 1-0 with a debut goal from Ian Harte, from a free kick!
Tuesday 14th September 2010, Millwall (A)
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Date:Friday September 10 2010
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