It’s the game that many have been arguing will decide the Championship title and will near enough guarantee the respective side promotion to the Premier League. Both the inform sides face off at St Marys as Southampton take on Reading.
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins – ‘It is a long campaign and credit must go to Brian (McDermott) for the season they have had so far. They missed out narrowly last year in the play-offs at Wembley and sometimes there is a bit of a hangover to that.’
‘The winner tonight is going to be one step ahead of everyone else because it is very close. After Friday there are another three games to go so we have to stay in the here and now, focus on the next game and move on.’
Reading manager Brian McDermott – ‘It’s an important game because it’s the next game, it’s two teams – one is in top position and one is second, we go there prepared, ready and looking forward to playing in front of a great crowd.’
‘We talk about mentality in football a lot, and how important it is at this stage of the season – the guys are fit enough and now it comes down to how strong you are mentally and if you can enjoy the game, because, if you’re a footballer – these are the games that you want to get involved in.’
Southampton Team News:
Saints midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is still out after a knee problem suffered against Portsmouth. Central defenders Radhi Jaidi and Dan Seabourne have now recovered from their respective injuries, but are likely to only find a place on the bench.
Player to watch: Rickie Lambert
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best striker outside the Premier League. Not the fastest player but such quality in both feet make him a danger man in and around the box.
Reading Team News:
Reading are definately without midfielder Jem Karacan who has a broken ankle, while midfield partner Mikele Leigertwood is also a doubt. Winger Hal Robson-Kanu could be back fit, while Jay Tabb is still an doubt with a rib problem.
Player to watch: Jimmy Kebe
Southampton have been known to struggle against pacey wingers this season, which could mean a big day for this man. The Malian winger has struggled to make a stunning impact in the last few games but could be his chance to impress.
Reading 1 – 1 Southampton
Leigertwood (71) De Ridder (80)
Premier League referee Mike Dean will be in charge of this game.
The two in-form sides with very mean defences facing off can only mean one thing for me. 0-0 draw.
Southampton – Peterborough (A) – Tuesday 17th April – nPower Championship
Reading – Nottingham Forest (H) – Tuesday 17th April – nPower Championship