Reading vs Arsenal – Match preview
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kick-off: 1.30 AM (IST), Tuesday, 18th of December
This game may not live up to their recent 12-goal thriller in the League Cup, yet there is lot at stake for both the side in this clash. Arsenal and Wenger needs better results to keep them in contention of Champions League spot for the next season, while Brian McDermott would look for major improvements in his side to stay alive in the relegation scrap rather than being stuck at the bottom of the table.
Reading (Last five PL games – LLLLL)
Reading’s struggles to cope with the top tier football demands may have not been in focus as much as the likes of QPR and Sunderland, yet the side knows that they must raise their standards to keep any hope of survival going for them in the second half of the season. With Sunderland beating them in a potential relegation scrap last week, Brian McDermott’s side is now 6 points away from safety and would need to pull off something spectacular tonight to keep Arsenal at bay for 90 minutes. The manager should have Roberts and Pogrebnyak for the big game as the manager would look to thwart their opposition that is lacking in confidence.
Arsenal (Last five PL games – WLDDW)
Pundits, ex-players, media and the fans have been pretty vocal in questioning Wenger’s credentials to lead the Gunners to another trophy in his tenure. After a shock defeat at Bradford, Arsenal needs some inspiration to get them back to winning ways away from home. Jack Wilshere has asked the players to step up and shield the manager from all the undue criticism and that can only happen with a resounding win at Madejski Stadium. Walcott is lining up for a late fitness test and his inclusion could help the side score more consistently in the upcoming festive season.
Reading probable starting XI: Federici, Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Roberts, Le Fondre
Injuries: Morrison, Kebe, Karacan
Arsenal probable starting XI: Szezesny, Sagna, Metersacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Podolski, Chamberlain, Giroud
Injuries: Santos, Fabianski, Diaby, Koscielny
- Reading and Arsenal have met 10 times in all competitions, with the Gunners winning them all.
- Arsenal have won none of their last 6 away games in all competitions.
- Arsenal have scored at least 2 goals in their last 6 matches against Reading in all competitions.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Arsenal’s last 4 games in the Premier League.
When it comes to Arsenal, their performances have been far too inconsistent this season but given the opposition, I see them sealing three points comfortably this Monday evening. Reading doesn’t have the fire power to bother a full-strength Arsenal side and all they could hope for is to put up a decent show for their home fans.