For some reason, I always tend to enjoy the boxing day games, most probably as we haven’t lost on this day for a while! We have seen Federici score in the last minute, beat West Ham 6-0 and funnily enough, enjoy another trademark Gylfi Sigurdsson, which came against the Swans back in 2009. Swansea seem to be coping well without former Royals boss Brendan Rodgers, while Reading can’t buy a win for love nor money at the moment!
Reading manager Brian McDermott – ‘We massively need our fans with us, they took so much credit for getting us over the line last season and we need them to be with us again. It was tough to take on Saturday, but one thing I’ve found over the last few months is that I’m a resilient person and the players are too. You have to be in this job. Swansea are a good side, we’ve played them already this season and were 2-0 up away from home against them. We’re looking forward to another full house.’
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup – ‘The result against United was a great result for the club, the players, the staff and the supporters. We can enjoy it for 24 hours or so but from Tuesday we have to start thinking about Reading as it is even more important. It is a key game. It is our last game in the first half of the season, and if we win that it would be fantastic. In fact for us to turn around with 27 points would be excellent.’
Reading Team News:
Reading are still going to be without striker Jason Roberts, who is struggling with a hip problem. Defender Sean Morrison is currently in light training after recovering from an ankle problem, so will not be available for selection. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is a long-term absentee, with a shoulder injury.
Player to watch: Jimmy Kebe
The Malian put in a great offensive and more importantly, defensive performance against City last week. However, the Swans could play to Kebe’s strength, which is us on the break.
Swansea Team News:
Michael Laudrup will give Pablo Hernandez a late fitness for this encounter, but is only likely to play a part from the bench if fit. Defender Angel Rangel is also set to miss out, meaning Tiendalli will continue at right-back for the Swans.
Player to watch: Michu
The in-form forward is set to be rewarded with his first Spain cap in the next few months and it’s not suprise, as Michu has taken the Premier League by storm. If the Swans midfield are on form and in the mood to supply, he could have a good day at the Madejski.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak
Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Williams, Chico, Davies, Ki, De Guzman, Britton, Routledge, Dyer, Michu
The Swans appear to struggle at defending set pieces, so we need to capitalise on this, especially as we are not going to see much of the ball. However, I can see a repeat of the 2009 Boxing Day game.
Vital Reading prediction: Reading 1 – 1 Swansea
Reading – West Ham (H) – Saturday 29th December – Premier League
Swansea – Fulham (A) – Saturday 29th December – Premier League