Date:Friday February 1 2013
2nd February 2013
After another late show from the proclaimed 'comeback kings' Reading, it is back to reality as they face an important game against Sunderland at the Madejski Stadium. Martin O'Neill's side have shown dramatic improvement in the past few months that have dragged them away from the relegation mix, while the Royals have shown drastic improvement in recent games.
Reading manager Brian McDermott - 'They're fired up for it - every game my players are fired up. Sunderland are now in a comfortable position and Martin has once again done a great job.'
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill - "Hopefully we can return to the form we showed against Wigan, which wasn`t so long ago. Reading never give up and it will be a difficult task for us.'
Reading will once again monitor the fitness of striker Noel Hunt, after he missed out against Chelsea on Wednesday night due to injury. As expected, long term injury problems Jason Roberts and Alex McCarthy will not be considered for this fixture.
The January signing from Crawley made a great impact against Chelsea the other night, proving both assists for the goals. Brian could well reward him with a start in place of Jem Karacan tomorrow, which I wouldn't argue with.
On-loan Tottenham defender Danny Rose is struggling with a hamstring problem, so is likely to miss out. Captain Lee Cattermole is close to returning to training, but will not be considered for this game, along with defenders Carlos Cuellar and Wes Brown, who are long-term injury absentee's.
The striker signed from Swansea on deadline day for £5 million and will have some convincing to do, after the Sunderland fans were not particularly impressed with his previous comments about the club. He could well start from the bench for this game, with Fletcher leading the line.
Reading: Federici, Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Leigertwood, Akpan, Kebe, Guthrie, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak
Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Colback, Larsson, N'Diaye, Vaughan, Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher
The referee for this game will be Lee Mason.
Both teams are not renowned for having a massive amount of shots on goal, so I can see us cancelling each other out for a lot of the game. However, with a certain Adam Le Fondre from the bench, I am confident we can nick a win. Vital Reading prediction: Reading 1 - 0 Sunderland
Reading - Stoke (A) - Saturday 9th February - Premier League
Sunderland - Arsenal (H) - Saturday 9th February - Premier League
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Date:Friday February 1 2013
Team news: Blackburn vs Reading (Friday October 31 2014)
Akpan enjoying midfield partnership (Thursday October 30 2014)
Midfielder suffers another set back (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Defender glad to be back in the fold (Tuesday October 28 2014)
Williams & Ferdinand get further game time (Tuesday October 28 2014)
'Clean sheet was the most pleasing aspect' (Monday October 27 2014)
Player Ratings - Blackpool (H) (Monday October 27 2014)
Royals end winless run with comfortable victory (Sunday October 26 2014)
Stats: Reading v Blackpool (Sunday October 26 2014)
Gaffer pleased to end poor run (Sunday October 26 2014)
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