Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Saturday March 8 2008
8th March 2008
A very important game for both clubs as Reading look to build on their first win in many games and City try to get their European campaign back on track at a venue that they have had mixed fortunes at.
Sven talks about Reading: 'They are a good team,' he says. 'They fight and defend well and get plenty of players behind the ball when they lose it. They are hard to break down and good on the counter attack with two good strikers, I expect another difficult game.
'I think they have been a little bit unlucky, they have had a few injuries and all the reports I have had on them say they have done well at times. I know the table is not the best for them, but that`s why they are dangerous.'
Reading will be without skipper Graeme Murty (knee) and midfielder Emerse Fae (malaria) as they bid to secure back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this season.
Winger Glen Little (heel) and midfielder Brynjar Gunnarsson (groin) remain on the sidelines but defender Michael Duberry (knee) rejoins the squad.
Frustrated front-man Leroy Lita linked up with Charlton on loan earlier in the week.
Along with Stephen Hunt in midfield; his driving force from the centre of the park as we saw from the game at Eastlands is Reading's bedrock.
City will be forced into shuffling their pack as the Citizens travel south without the services of a number of key players.
Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov is unavailable as he serves the second of his three-game ban following his red card against Everton at the end of last month.
Micah Richards is set to miss much of the remainder of the season with a knee injury, and he joins Nedum Onuoha (hamstring) and Valerie Bojinov (knee) in the treatment room.
Sven is boosted by the news that Elano has been passed fit to play after recovering from a knock suffered during his side's goalless draw with Wigan at the City of Manchester Stadium last weekend.
Like Harper for Reading; Johnson is City's driving force from the midfield.
City have met Reading only twice at the Madejski Stadium wining one and losing one.
Reading did the double over us last season but City are poised to return the favour this season after a stoppage time Ireland goal at Eastlands in November.
Uriah Rennie - can be slagged off at times but in recent seasons has probably been one of the best referee's in this his second City game this season as the same for Reading.
Reading will be all out to gain their first back to back victories of the season but a resilient City will be too organised for them and will be sharper in front of goal. Reading 0 - 1 City.
Tottenham Hotspur at home Sunday 16th March with a 4pm kick off on Sky.
Date:Saturday March 8 2008
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