After a two-week Premier League break, it is back to business for Reading, as they look to close the five-point relegation gap as they take on West Brom at the Madejski Stadium. Steve Clarke’s side have performed above expected so far this season, finding themselves in a very healthy seventh position.
Reading manager Brian McDermott –‘They are the type of club we would look at and try and emulate, they’ve really been solid in the last couple of years. Steve Clark`s carried on, done really well and done a good job. It`s a good club West Brom. We know what we`re coming up against, we lost to them earlier on this season. Anyone who comes here will have a fight on their hands and we`ll certainly be giving them that.’
Baggies head coach Steve Clarke – ‘It`s a difficult place to go and whenever you go down to the Madejski it`s always difficult to get anything. We look forward to it because we are full of confidence and we`ll be looking to play some good football. We respect the fact that Reading are down there fighting for their lives and we know we have to match them for effort. Brian`s a good man and he`s done all the hard hours and he`s done a fantastic job.’
Reading Team News:
Reading will still be without striker Jason Roberts, who has suffered a set back in his return from a hip problem. The duo of Mikele Leigertwood and Hal Robson-Kanu both have knocks and will be assessed before Saturday’s game. New signing Daniel Carrico is set to start in Leigertwood’s place.
Player to watch: Daniel Carrico
As with any new signing, many Royals fans are looking forward to watching the Portuguese international. He is likely to line up in centre midfield and it will be interesting to see whether he can adapt to the physical approach of the Premier League, not just the technical side.
West Brom Team News:
The Albion have been hit with a long-term injury to Zolton Gera, who is set to be out for the season. The defensive duo of Jonas Olsson and Goran Popov are doubtful. Midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu is away at the African Cup of Nations
Player to watch: Shane Long
Our former striker is very highly fought of still to this day and it will be great to see him back at the Madejski. A forward with power, pace and a good finish. Would love to have him back some day.
West Brom 1 – 0 Reading
It will be a very tough game, as Steve Clarke makes them a very difficult side to beat. However, I have a slight feeling we might nick it.
Vital Reading prediction: Reading 2 – 1 West Brom
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West Brom – Aston Villa (H) – Saturday 19th January – Premier League