Many from a Reading point of view have viewed this as a six-pointer and in the terms of its importance, they wouldn’t be wrong. Brian McDermott’s side are in the bottom three and still looking for their first victory of the season, which would have provoked some caution. However, Fulham are going about their business very well in the Premier League, sitting in 8th place. The losses of Clint Dempsey, Bobby Zamora and Dembelé don’t seem to be affecting them.
Reading manager Brian McDermott – ‘We need our fans – we really do. Anything that’s worth achieving is never easy. If anyone says to me that last season was easy then trust me, it wasn’t. But we got here and we’re going to relish this season. This is when you need spirit – people talk to me about spirit after winning 15 games out of 17 last season. But that’s just momentum – obviously you need spirit to dig those results out but this is when we need it most.’
Martin Jol on his former striker Pavel Pogrebnyak – “I was bothered at the time but not any more. Of course I liked Pavel very much and he liked the club as well. But he made a decision. They made a very good offer to him and he decided to go there. It was not an easy decision for him. I spoke to him a couple of times, but he made that choice.’
Reading Team News:
Reading are set to welcome back striker Noel Hunt, after he returned to training yesterday after a heel problem. Midfielder Jem Karacan is definitely out with an ankle problem, so Danny Guthrie is expected to keep his place in the side.
Player to watch: Danny Guthrie
The former Newcastle midfielder made a promising start to life with Reading, but since being dropped from the side last month, has dropped in form. This game will be crucial for Danny to prove himself to deserve a regular spot in the team.
Fulhan Team News:
Costa Rican forward Bryan Ruiz will be given a late fitness test for this game, but Hugo Rodallega will be ready to deputise if he is not fit. However, midfield Simon Davies is certainly out with a hip problem, as is winger Alexander Frei.
Player to watch: Dimitar Berbatov
The Bulgarian has had a decent start to life with the Cottagers and will fancy himself against a Reading defence that has not kept a clean sheet yet this season.
Reading: McCarthy, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Shorey, Kebe, Guthrie, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Pogrebnyak
Fulham: Schwarzer, Reither, Hangeland, Hughes, Richardson, Duff, Sidwell, Baird, Riise, Berbatov, Petric
The referee for the match will be Mike Jones.
Even Mark Lawrenson has predicted a win for us this weekend, which is obscene, so I feel it surely must be our weekend. Will be a tough game, but this opportunity needs to be taken.
Vital Reading prediction: 1-0 win
Reading – Arsenal (H) – Tues 27th October – Capital One Cup 4th Round
Fulham: – Everton (H) – Sat 3rd November – Premier League