As we all approach the Christmas mark, it isn’t exactly a festive treat for Reading, as they have to visit the Premier League champions Manchester City. The Royals have lost six consecutive games and are bottom of the table, with just nine points. However, City would also be disappointed with their position in the league, as they sit second, six points behind their rivals Manchester United.
Man City boss Roberto Mancini – ‘We’re playing against a team like Reading with only nine points and people say they will be relegated, but it will be a difficult game. I watched them against Everton – when they beat Everton – and against United when they lost 4-3. Up front they are very strong. Maybe they concede goals but we need to play like against Newcastle if we want to win the game.’
Reading manager Brian McDermott – ‘If you look at their record, they’ve lost only once in a huge number of games – and that was against Manchester United. They’ve got quality – they’ve spent absolute fortunes and they’ve got quality all over the pitch. They’re a top side and won the Barclays Premier League in the last minute in what was the most amazing day of football anyone has ever witnessed.’
Man City Team News:
City could be without former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, who picked up a groin problem against Newcastle last week. Captain Vincent Kompany is also doubtful for the game, while Aleksander Koralov is highly doubful.
Player to watch: Sergio Aguero
The little Argentine was pivotal in City winning the title last year and continues to impress at the Etihad Stadium. Playing alongside Tevez brings the best out in him.
Reading Team News:
Reading are still set to be without striker Jason Roberts, who is still struggling with a hip injury. However, McDermott will be boosted by a return to fitness for Jem Karacan and Danny Guthrie, who both played in the reserves in midweek.
Player to watch: Jimmy Kebe
The Malian magician had a good game against Arsenal and looked to create something out of nothing, which Reading will need a lot of if they are going to get something at the Etihad.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Nastasic, Clichy, Barry, Yaya Toure, Silva, Garcia, Tevez, Aguero
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey, Kebe, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre
The referee for this encounter will be Mike Dean.
This all depends on whether Brian plays five in midfield. I’d like to think he would and it could possibly save an embarrassing scoreline.
Vital Reading prediction: 3-0 City
Man City – Sunderland (A) – Wednesday 26th December – Premier League
Reading – Swansea (H) – Wednesday 26th December – Premier League