Just three days after a good comeback win at Millwall, Reading return home to the Madejski to face finanically-troubled Portsmouth. The Royals have won six in a row, while Pompey have not won in six games.
Reading manager Brian McDermott – ‘We had lots of bangs and bruises on Saturday, there are lots of games in a short period of time so everybody in the squad will be needed. They’ve [Portsmouth] still got a really good team there, I watched their game back from Saturday and this is going to be a really good game whatever happens.’
Pompey boss Michael Appleton – ‘It’s very difficult, all you can do is coach them and organise them as best you can. It’s hard not being able to bring players in and freshen up the squad. We’ve had an embargo from the minute I walked through the door and I’ve not been able to utilise my contacts and knowledge of Championship football.
Reading Team News:
Brian McDermott will have worries over the fitness of Jimmy Kebe and Andy Griffin, who both picked up knocks in training during the week. Defender Matt Connolly picked up an ankle problem against Millwall so will be absent, with Shaun Cummings fit to deputise.
Player to watch: Ian Harte
The former Leeds defender is starting to show some good defensive form for the Royals. His set-pieces are also proving dividends and is a crucial asset in the air.
Portsmouth Team News:
Midfielder David Norris is set to play after a hernia problem, but striker Kanu is out with a back problem. Midfielder Kelvin Etuhu is also out with a hamstring problem.
Player to watch: Greg Halford
The former Reading player has been a good player for Pompey, proving to be a versatile figure along the back and in midfield. Will have a point to prove at his former side.
Portsmouth 1 – 0 Reading
Considering the lack of depth in Pompey’s current squad and low condfidence due to the financial problems, I’m going for a 2-0 win.
Reading – Leicester (H) – Saturday 10th March – nPower Championship
Portsmouth – Brighton (A) – Saturday 10th March – nPower Championship