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Reading V MCFC

Reading FC
Manchester City FC

Madejski Stadium

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.

Vital Quotes:

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 FC Team News:

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.

Player to watch: James Harper

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.

Manchester City FC Team News:

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.

Player to watch: Michael Johnson

Like Harper for Reading; Johnson is City's driving force from the midfield.

Match Facts & Stats

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.

Ref Watch:

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.

Match Prediction:

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.

Next Fixtures:

Tottenham Hotspur at home Sunday 16th March with a 4pm kick off on Sky.

Writer:Gavin Cooper
Date:Saturday March 8 2008
Time: 2:06PM


An unacceptable defeat against a side we should have the players to dismiss with plenty to spare. We are not direct enough or play wide enough. Looking at the squad, on top of the players inability to make this persistent playing system work, the likes of Vassell, Elano, Sun, Ireland and Garrido have lost their belief and could all go this summer in a big shake up unless we see a major turnaround in performances. I sense Sven may be forced to go right back to the drawing board. My first signing would be an out and out top drawer centre half to bolster defensive options and Van Buyten remains my preferred target in Germany. Very, very disappointing showing today and the players look increasingly uncertain how to proceed, what runs to make, you name it. Anyone for stopping the season now!!??
Johnny Baguette
08/03/2008 17:18:00
I'm very surprised. I don't really know how you boys lost this - I think it can only really be a confidence thing.
08/03/2008 18:10:00
It looks like we will be without Richards Onouha, Dunne, Hamann, and Ball leaving defensive options a bit thin on the ground. This combined with our inability to score makes for a very bleak few weeks ahead.
08/03/2008 20:34:00
and you lost hee hee bet reading are feeling like barnsley and pompey
ozanne park rangers
09/03/2008 05:21:00
Here are a few home truths for all the SP knockers. The last 13 games has seen us muster 13 points. At the same point last year with SP the corresponding 13 games got us 14 points. The next five games last year saw us get 11 points. Will the next five games see us getting 11 points ???
09/03/2008 08:59:00
SGE didnt change the system, until he does that we will be predicatble. The loss of key players in defence. Dunney will be missed and I know he has some fans constantly on his back, but |i hope they realise without him we are not good at the back, but if we are not scoring up front then we will struggle. Vassell tries hard and I love the guy, but he simply cannot put it away when he has the chance to. SGE should have started with castillo or Caicedo the left and played Elano and Benjani more forward. Hamann cannot play in a 442, but if you asked me would I take top 10 I would. I still think if we go back to basics we can still get there. They need our backing, they have mine
Buzz Lightyear
09/03/2008 10:27:00
I don't think there is any danger of the fans not giving full support to Sven. The fact is that had Manchester City FC remained as it was for this season with no takeover, we would have been relegated. The team right now has lost it's way, so the fans backing is all the more important. The brilliance of some of the performances last autumn saw our Premier League status all but secure by Christmas and raised our expectations massively. We are still on course for City's record PL points haul, but in reality the absolute shambles that Sven inherited will take a lot longer to rebuild than previously envisaged. This is not a bad side and one of the most talented I have seen at City in years. They need a ruthlessness. Many of our foriegn stars are still finding their feet. When it all clicks into place, watch us go. In Sven I still trust.
Johnny Baguette
09/03/2008 12:34:00
Your fans are easily the most loyal in Manchester
09/03/2008 14:30:00
Cheers, codbater!
Johnny Baguette
09/03/2008 19:20:00
I see Ishmael can't stop banging them in for The Baggies !!!
09/03/2008 20:58:00
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