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Reading FC vs. Manchester City FC

Madejski Stadium

8th March 2008

3pm

Reading V MCFC

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.




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The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 8 2008

Time: 2:06PM

Your Comments

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
I'm very surprised. I don't really know how you boys lost this - I think it can only really be a confidence thing.
The_Legend_Of_Zola
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.
alphieblues
and you lost hee hee bet reading are feeling like barnsley and pompey
ozanne park rangers
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 ???
alphieblues
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
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
Your fans are easily the most loyal in Manchester
codbater
Cheers, codbater!
Johnny Baguette
I see Ishmael can't stop banging them in for The Baggies !!!
alphieblues
Think the turning point was dunne getting himself injured. Your boys just weren't up for it after that, there was no one to giv them that drive. We wanted it more and got a deserved 3 points.
uroyals
Agreed, uroyals. You can see he belief draining out of this City side right now. I can't believe I'm typing this after that superb victory at Old Trafford only one month ago! Spurs next up for us and that will not be easy. Good luck for the run in! Newcastle in your sights?
Johnny Baguette
Got a question alph. 4.5 mill Caicedo v 1 mill Miller. I can't see much difference PL performance wise to date and Ish was often played out of position yet was familiar with the English League style of play. What's all that about then??!!
Johnny Baguette
That was one deal that surprised me that Sven let him go. When you think of our lightweight side he was one of the few that could put himself about even though he was stuck out on the wing. The same can be said about Sam Harris again stuck out on the wing.
alphieblues
You've seen him score a hat-trick against a league one side and he is somehow really good - the guy will never make it as a top premiership player - Caicedo is an unknown quantity that may or may not be a top player - we pay for him on the never never as well plus appearances as well. 1m plus for Miller is a good deal.
mcfcdaytona
Nope, mcfcdaytona I don't perceive Miller to be "somehow really good" I'm merely questioning the offloading of a local lad I'd like to have seen given a go as an out and out striker in favour of a player whose reputation in Switzerland promises much but we know little about. Still, I trust Sven's and his team's judgement. I'd also be interested to see the structure of the Miller deal. I'm also On roughly the same subject I'm sadly beginning to question whether Stephen Ireland will ever be a top Premier League player.
Johnny Baguette
Believe me, Miller can not make anything if he play in the Premier League & Caicedo is good player but he want more time, welcome back Johnny Baguette & What happen for Man City in the last matches :(
city 81
Hello city 81! How are you doing? Well, we have gone from triumph to tragedy in 4 weeks! I have a couple of phrases for you to describe the current situation. "It's all gone pear shaped" and "It's all gone to *********!"
Johnny Baguette
Hmm, so you can't say b o l l o c k s on these forums!!
Johnny Baguette
The only good thing about this weekend was that I was in Manchester on Sunday for lunch with my friend from Norway who came to watch The Rags in an Excutive Box. He said the meal was worse than the result no better than a Transport Cafe of thirty years ago. It only costs the company 50,000 a year for the privilege !!!.... and we think we have got problems....
alphieblues
Look guys, Not grieve becouse Sevn when he start he said may plans long to 3 years ( I hope he will able to continue until that date ), But really what we must sad over, The big chance this year to win FA cup if we had reached to this current round.
city 81
LOL alph! At least we will have Thai catering in the future while the rags flog burgers! Meanwhile, I know what you mean, city 81. I just feel it's a shame this season as so much hard work went into getting the team into a great position. All I sak now is that they show some true grit and fight back.
Johnny Baguette
At the time SGE let WBA have M. we had about six strikers all in front of M. and he just is not a left winger and I think the deal was good in terms that SGE thinks that next season we will have players far better than anything we have now. There was not point in keeping a player who would not get a game. If WBA get promoted we will see if we were wrong, but I doubt it. Bristol gave him far too much room and I can't see that being the case in the premier.
Buzz Lightyear
I agree Buzz, think of all the young prospects we have let go, Croft, BWP, Flood etc. none have come back to haunt us in the Premiership.
alphieblues
 

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