With both sides having not played on the weekend, it is Monday night football as Reading prepare to take on Arsenal at the Madejski Stadium. Both sides are low on confidence with the Royals losing five games in a row, while Arsene Wenger’s Gunners side are performing below par in the Premier League, as well as exiting the Capital One Cup to Bradford last week.
Reading manager Brian McDermott – ‘I`ll take 7-5 as long as we get the seven and they get the five! But, if it was a 1-0 win for us that wasn`t very good to watch, I think myself, the staff, the players and probably all our fans would take that. We need to make sure we do what`s right for our supporters.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger – ‘”I believe I have a strong team. If you look at our season at the moment, we have not produced our performances at home, our results away are in the same bracket as the two top teams. Manchester United are top of the league. They have lost three games, we have lost four. We had more draws, especially at home, that is where we have lost the points.”
Reading Team News:
Reading could welcome back the strike duo of Pavel Pogrebnyak and Jason Roberts for this game, who both missed last week’s loss to Sunderland. It may come too soon for Jimmy Kebe and Jem Karacan, who have just returned to full training. However, defender Sean Morrison and Alex McCarthy are definitely out.
Player to watch: Danny Guthrie
After apoligising to the squad for his refusal to play against Sunderland, the former Newcastle man has a point to prove to his manager, the fans and his team mates. Reports have stated that McDermott could start Guthrie in this encounter.
Arsenal Team News:
Arsenal could welcome back Olivier Giroud who this game, after missing the tie with Braford last week with a back injury. Forward Theo Walcott will have to be assessed late on to see if he can start, while Laurent Koscielny should be fit.
Player to watch: Santi Cazorla
The little Spaniard has arguably been the best signing for any side this season and continues to impress in his first season in the Premier League.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Mariappa, Pearce, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Guthrie, Pogrebnyak
Arsenal: Szczesney, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermalean, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
The referee for this game will be Anthony Taylor.
I can’t really see another 7-5, but I wouldn’t argue against the bookies’ view on their being goals. I can see us scoring, but certainly not getting anything from the game.
Vital Reading prediction: Reading 1 – 3 Arsenal
Reading – Man City (A) – Sat 22nd December – Premier League
Arsenal – Wigan (A) – Sat 22nd December – Premier League