Spurs (A) Match Preview
White Hart Lane
1st January 2013
After picking up just their second win of the season, it doesn't get easier for Reading, as they travel to high-flying Spurs. Andre Villas-Boas' side are currently fourth in the Premier League and are starting to find some consistency. However, will the travel-sick Royals secure an upset at White Hart Lane on New Years Day?
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas on Aaron Lennon's current form - 'This season he`s showing that he`s on another level. He signed his contract with us, he`s committed and always gives everything for the team. It was a great goal. It was a very important win for us and the players have been immense, both in their desire and ability."
Reading manager Brian McDermott on the squad unity after the West Ham victory - 'We've missed Jem Karacan for a lot of the season and we couldn't play a certain way because we didn't have Danny Guthrie either. We were really struggling and Jimmy Kebe was also missing. We've had a real bit of bad luck - Alex McCarthy's long term too. But what I like is that the fact that everyone - the 11 players, the subs, the entire squad - was in the dressing room after the game delighted.'
Tottenham Team News:
Tottenham will be without key winger Garath Bale for this encounter, after he serves a suspension for picking up his fifth booking of the season. Left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto could be fit for the game, but will only have a place on the bench.
Player to watch: Aaron Lennon
The England international took apart the Royals in the reverse fixture at the Madejski Stadium and may fancy his luck this time against either Ian Harte or Nicky Shorey.
Reading Team News:
The Royals will once again be without striker Jason Roberts, who is struggling with a recurring hip problem. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is a long-term absentee, as defender Sean Morrison has returned to full fitness following an ankle injury, but will only start on the bench.
Player to watch: Pavel Pogrebnyak
The Russian striker is starting to win over Reading fans with some more assured performances and more importantly, goals. Will probably not see a lot of the ball against Spurs, but will need to take his opportunities if he gets them.
Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Dawson, Naughton, Lennon, Dembele, Sandro, Dempsey, Defoe, Adebayor
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Guthrie, Pogrebnyak
Despite us looking much more solid defensively, I can see us putting up a good fight, but unfortunately not getting anything from it. Vital Reading prediction: Spurs 1 - 0 Reading
Spurs - Coventry City (H) - Sat 5th January - FA Cup Third Round
Reading - Crawley Town (A) - Sat 5th January - FA Cup Third Round