Date:Friday February 22 2013
23rd February 2013
It's crunch time at the Madejski Stadium, as 18th and 19th place battle it out, with Reading and Wigan colliding in a basement battle this Saturday. The Royals are two points above the Latics in the relegation zone and McDermott's men are just one point below Aston Villa outside the drop zone. Both teams need the points for the same reasons, which should make for a great game at the Mad Stad.
Reading boss Brian McDermott - '
"We know how we play, we try to pass the ball, we try to get it down and if we have to go long we`ll go long. I saw Van Persie hit a 60 yard ball the other day, which was a long ball, but was top, top drawer. Man United play, they mix it up, they go short, they go long - and that`s what all the best teams in the world do. I like to attack, that`s my gut feel. Obviously I have to calm my own instincts down sometimes but we always attack late in the game, because we`re trying to win.'
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez - 'I think sometimes you get carried away and you think that this is a vital game and if you win, you get three points but that doesn't guarantee you'll achieve your aim. In the same manner, if you lose and then go unbeaten until the end of the season, you'll achieve your aim. It is an important game but what's more important is that we can be consistent. It is a vital game because it's one of 12 games left, nothing else.'
Reading midfielder Mikele Leigertwood should be fit after battling through the pain barrier to play against Manchester United on Monday. McDermott will also give a late fitness test to winger Jimmy Kebe who missed out on Monday due to injury. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and striker Jason Roberts are still not in contention for selection.
The Latics have shown their defensive frailties in recent games, meaning the Russian striker may fancy himself in front of goal. He hasn't scored as many as he would have liked to this season, so could fancy his luck tomorrow.
The defensive duo of Antolin Alcaraz and Emmerson Boyce will be given late fitness tests after returning to training this week. Winger Ryo Miyaichi could also be involved in this fixture, after returning from injury.
The pacey forward scored a double in the FA Cup against Huddersfield last week, so will want to prove to Roberto Martinez he can do it week in, week out. His pace could cause our backline some problems if he starts.
Reading 4-4-2: Federici, Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Leigertwood, Akpan, Kebe, McAnuff, McCleary, Pogrebnyak
Wigan - 3-4-3: Al Habsi, Stam, Caldwell, Figueroa, Scharner, Beausejour, McCarthy, McArthur, Maloney, Kone, Di Santo
The referee for this game will be Phil Dowd.
I can see it being a very open game considering both sides need the points. It could really go either way, but I think our confidence at home will give us the edge late on. Vital Reading prediction: Reading 2 - 1 Wigan
Reading - Everton (A) - Saturday 2nd March - Premier League
Wigan - Liverpool (H) - Saturday 2nd March - Premier League
Date:Friday February 22 2013
Mills moves to Burnley, but could leave again! (Saturday May 25 2013)
Scout Report - Michael Hector (Saturday May 25 2013)
Scout Report - Lawson D'Ath (Friday May 24 2013)
Tabb's move away from Royals stalls (Friday May 24 2013)
IMPORTANT DATES: League and Cup (Thursday May 23 2013)
Transfer Targets: Potential summer signings - P1 (Thursday May 23 2013)
Pearce says keeper still has chance at lower level (Thursday May 23 2013)
Former captain sings praises of keeper (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Bookie watch: Alfie's next club (Wednesday May 22 2013)
QPR linked with Royals winger - again! (Wednesday May 22 2013)
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