West Ham (A) Match Preview
31st March 2012
3.00 pm KO
It's the most crucial game of the season for both of these sides so far, as Reading take on West Ham, in a third vs second clash at Upton Park. A win for the Royals would stretch the gap in second to four points, while a Hammers win would take Sam Allardyce's side into second spot.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce - 'We're not winning as many as we like at home. But we've just equalled a club record for most away wins and we're likely to beat it. We're performing away from home and if we get the winning steak back at home then we'll be OK. There's nothing to be negative about. We've not won some of the games but that happens in football. If we'd lost five on the trot then fair enough but we've only drawn five on the trot.'
Reading manager Brian McDermott - 'It's a game against a club with great tradition and history, there won't be a ticket to be had and these are the matches you want to be involved in. Every game we play in from now until the end of the season will be close to a full house, which means we must have done something right.'
West Ham Team News:
Hammers defender Abdoulaye Faye will have a late fitness test for this game, as he was stretched off against Peterborough on Tuesday. Fellow defenders Guy Demel and Winston Reid have returned to training but will not be fit enough to play, meaning Joey O'Brien to set to play on the right side of defence.
Player to watch: Mark Noble
The England U21 player is West Ham through-and-through and will be sure to give 100% in this crucial game. Works the centre of midfield very well.
Reading Team News:
Reading could have star striker Jason Roberts back for this game, as the forward's hamstring injury wasn't as bad as first feared. This means Benik Afobe could drop down to the bench. Defenders Matt Connolly and Joseph Mills are long-term absentee's, while Alex McCarthy will return to the Reading bench after an injury to keeper Mikkel Andersen.
Player to watch: Jobi McAnuff
The former West Ham player has been in fine form in recent games for the Royals and will cause a shaky Hammers defence some problems.
Reading 3 - 0 West Ham
Pearce (66) Church (80, 86)
Premier League referee Chris Foy will be in charge for this game.
West Ham's home form is not the best but will be keen to inflict revenge after the reverse fixture in December. 1-1 draw.
West Ham - Barnsley (A) - Friday 6th April - nPower Championship
Reading - Leeds (H) - Friday 6th April - nPower Championship