Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Friday September 17 2010
18th September 2010
The Royals make the long trip to the North East to face Middlesbrough on Saturday, on the back of an unbeaten run in the league. Brian McDermott's side have not been beaten in the Championship since the opening day of the season, and will be looking to pick up three points at the Riverside.
Boro have not had the best start to the season, perhaps dogged by their tag of pre season favourites for promotion, but they beat Burnley on Tuesday night and could well have kick started their season.
Assistant manager Nigel Gibbs-
We`ve got some tough games coming up, we need everyone in the squad and the boys coming off the bench to play their part. It`s a tough period, but our boys are up for it and they enjoy the games and relish the challenge.'
Striker Simon Church-
'We`re very confident going into games on the back of the Crystal Palace win and the Millwall result. It doesn`t matter if we play ugly, we have to go up there and try and do as well as we can.'
Boro have a number of injury doubts ahead of the game, with Gary O'Neil, Stephen McManus, David Wheater and Mickael Tavares all struggling for fitness.
Joe Bennett and Matt Kilgallon are definitly out whilst Leroy Lita will hope to keep his place after starting in the win over Burnley on Tuesday night, ahead of former Rangers striker Kris Boyd.
With all the Scottish players signed by Gordan Strachan in the summer, the signing of Tarmo Kink probably slipped well under the radar of most football fans. However the exciting young winger came off the bench and scored both goals in the win over Burnley and will be hoping to start this game.
The Royals will again do without Andy Griffin, who is struggling with a hamstring injury, so Shaun Cummings will deputise once more.
Brynjar Gunnarsson should return to the side, in place of Simon Church, with McDermott reverting to his more favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. Chris Armstrong may feature on the bench for the first time this season, after recovering from a long term knee injury.
Right back Cummings looked to be on his way out of the club before coming into the side away at Leicester. He has played in 3 games since replacing Andy Griffin, and we have only conceded one goal. The former Chelsea player will be keen to show he can play at this level and continue his impressive run of form.
Saturday 20th March 2010, Middlesbrough 1-1 Reading.
Games between the sides have always been close in recent seasons, and I think this one will be no different. I don't think there will be a lot of goals but am backing us to take all three points with a 1-0 win.
Saturday 25th September, Barnsley (H)
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Date:Friday September 17 2010
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