Writer: Chris Kitley
Date:Tuesday January 1 2008
After a bizarre game at White Hart Lane, Reading will be looking to get back on track against a Portsmouth side who have been very good on their travels this term.
The 7-4 drubbing at Fratton Park will also be on the minds of the Reading players as they seek revenge for the humiliating defeat.
Portsmouth will likewise be looking to bounce back after a disapointing home defeat against strugglers Middlesbrough.
Coppell on the Pompey game;
'There's three days to prepare for it. It is not about gymnastics, it is a human response. No footballer likes getting beat, so you are looking for a response.
'They are a good team, they spent £20-odd million in the summer and we don't have that ability. So we have to depend on the qualities we have.'
Brynjar Gunnarsson is still suspended and Kalifa Cisse will continue to deputise.
Nicky Shorey is likely to play despite a stomach bug.
Cisse was finally given a chance to prove himself at Spurs and he grabbed himself a goal.
The midfielder will look to go from strength to strength in order to cement his place in the team.
Portsmouth will welcome back defender Glen Johnson and midfielder Sulley Muntari.
Sean Davis, Noe Pamarot and Pedro Mendes are severe doubts while Kanu and Lauren could be rested.
The Croatian international has been excellent form this season and continues to prove that he has a very bright future in the game.
He will be a big threat to the shaky Reading defence today.
Reading have conceded ten in their last two away games at Portsmouth, however the previous two meetings on Reading soil have both finished 0-0.
The Royals entered 2006 with a 6-0 hammering of West Ham; Pompey are yet to win their first Premier League fixture of a new calendar year.
Mike Dean (Wirral)
This is a tough one to call. Portsmouth have been excellent away this season, Reading on the other hand have been very strong at home. With the 6-4 defeat at Spurs likely to be on the minds of the Reading players, they could be slightly more cautious with their play today. My prediction; Reading 0-0 Portsmouth
Tottenham (a) 05/01/08
Aston Villa (a) 12/01/08
Date:Tuesday January 1 2008
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|16. Aston Villa||5||1||2||2||0||5|
|18. Derby County||5||1||2||2||-2||5|
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