Six pointer at St James’ Park as the Royals take on the Magpies.
Alan Pardew and Brian McDermott once worked together at Reading where Pardew, then the Berkshire club’s manager, made McDermott his chief scout. “Alan paid me about £2.50 an hour, so he got his money’s worth,” joked McDermott who, having graduated to his mentor’s old job, now brings Reading to Tyneside for what Pardew has dubbed “a relegation six-pointer”. Danny Guthrie, formerly of Newcastle, will be anxious to prove a point in visiting colours. Pardew, meanwhile, says he “loves Brian to bits” but such affection could be tested should Reading depart with a point or three.
Venue St James’ Park, Saturday 3pm
Last season n/a
Referee Andre Marriner
This season’s matches 13 Y44, R0, 3.38 cards per game
Odds Newcastle 5-6 Reading 7-2 Draw 11-4
Subs from Harper, Elliot, Tavernier, Williamson, Ferguson, Bigirimana, Amalfitano, Obertan, Abeid, Ranger, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi,
Doubtful Cabaye (groin), S Taylor (hamstring)
Injured Ben Arfa (hamstring, Feb), Vuckic (knee, Aug), Gosling (knee, unknown), R Taylor (knee, Aug), Simpson (toe, unknown)
Unavailable Tioté (international duty)
Form guide DLLLWL
Disciplinary record Y43 R2
Leading scorer Cissé 4
Subs from Andersen, Taylor, Karacan, Pearce, Hunt, McCleary, Morrison, Tabb, Gorkss, Gunter, Robson-Kanu, Akpan, Harte, Cummings
Doubtful Leigertwood (knock)
Injured Roberts (hip, 26 Jan), McCarthy (shoulder, May)
Form guide WLWDLL
Disciplinary record Y26 R0
Leading scorer Le Fondre 6
Newcastle have won all seven times they have hosted Reading; the first occasion was in the FA Cup in 1900. In the subsequent six home meetings, the Magpies have scored at least three goals in each fixture.
Shola Ameobi scored a hat-trick the last time Newcastle were at home to Reading, which was in the Championship in August 2009.
The teams drew 2-2 when they met at the Madejski Stadium in September – both Newcastle goals came from Demba Ba, who left the club earlier this month. It was the first match after Alan Pardew signed his eight-year contract with the club.
Pardew’s first managerial position was at Reading, from 1999-2003, after finishing his playing career at the club. He won promotion with Reading from the Second Division (the third tier of the football league) to Division One (the second tier) in 2002. Reading manager Brian McDermott was chief scout at the club during Pardew’s time as manager.
Newcastle have lost five of their last seven Premier League matches (W1, D1, L5). They have won just two of their last 13, and only three of their 17 league games (W3, D4, L10) since Pardew signed his long-term contract with the club.
The Magpies’ total of 21 points after 22 matches is their lowest-ever tally at this stage of a Premier League season.
It’s their lowest since they had 17 points in 1988-89, when they were relegated.
After 22 matches last season, Newcastle were sixth with 36 points – this season they are 16th with 21 points.
Newcastle have lost on eight of the 10 occasions that they have conceded the first goal in this season’s Premier League, drawing the other two times.
Reading have won two of their last three league matches.
The Royals have lost their last six away league matches and haven’t won away from home in the league all season.
All six of Adam Le Fondre’s league goals this season have been scored at the Madejski Stadium.
Pavel Pogrebnyak has scored in three successive Premier League games, the first time that he has done that since his first three appearances (playing for Fulham).
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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