Date: 24th December 2011 at 12:35pm
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The busy Christmas period now begins, as after a nine day break, Reading return home to the Madejski on a fine run of form. They face Gus Poyet’s Brighton who have tailed off the play-off places in recent weeks but will sure to be a tough test for McDermott’s men

Vital Quotes:

Reading boss Brian McDermott on rising attendances – ‘I say to the players, give the crowd something so they can get behind you. That’s our duty, to ensure they’re involved in the game. Give them something to cling onto and they’ll get behind you. They’re really important to us.’

Brighton manager Gus Poyet – ‘Boxing Day will be very tough though because Reading are a good team and I like them a lot. They are organised and they are consistently getting better, so we’ll see what happens.’

Reading Team News:

Reading striker Mathieu Manset will almost certainly be out with injury, while Ian Harte will be available to play after illness. Noel Hunt should have recovered from a hip problem, similarly to Shaun Cummings who should be fit after dislocating his shoulder against Leeds. Andy Griffin will be waiting on stand by.

Player to watch: Simon Church

The Welsh international is on fine form, after scoring 3 goals in the last 2 games. Looks like he has finally matured as a player.

Brighton Team News:

Brighton will be with Marcos Painter who has recovered from a hamstring problem. Ashley Barnes and Romain Vincelot both picked up red cards last week, so they will be suspended.

Player to watch: Will Buckley

The dangerous frontman has been a great buy from Gus Poyet. Possess great pace down the flank and it capable of changing the game in a flash.

Match Prediction:

Brighton are a very good side but we should have enough to sneak a 1-0 win.

Next Fixtures:

Reading – Ipswich (H) – 31st December – nPower Championship

Brighton – Coventry (A) – 31st December – nPower Championship