Martin O’Neill’s Black Cats travel to the Madejski Stadium.
Martin O’Neill offered his unequivocal backing to Danny Graham on Friday, as he prepared to thrust the £5m signing straight into the squad. Graham, a childhood Newcastle fan, has made some less than complimentary statements about Sunderland in the past but O’Neill said: “I have really no doubts that he will score goals and he will prove a great buy.” Reading invested in a new forward of their own recently and now Brian McDermott must decide whether to opt for Nick Blackman or give recent super-sub Adam Le Fondre a start.
Venue Madejski Stadium, Saturday 3pm
Last season n/a
Referee Lee Mason
This season’s matches 15 Y50, R0, 3.33 cards per game
Subs from Andersen, Taylor, Gunter, Shorey, Karacan, Hunt, McCleary, Tabb, Morrison, Gorkss, Robson-Kanu, Akpan, Cummings, Carriço, Blackman
Doubtful Hunt (knock)
Injured McCarthy (shoulder, Mar), Roberts (thigh, unknown)
Form guide DWWLWD
Disciplinary record Y30 R0
Leading scorer Le Fondre 10
Subs from Westwood, Bardsley, Noble, Graham, Wickham, McFadden, Cuéllar, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Mangane, McClean
Doubtful Cuéllar (hamstring), Rose (hamstring)
Injured Cattermole (knee, 9 Feb), Brown (knee, unknown)
Form guide DWWLLW
Disciplinary record Y35 R0
Leading scorer Fletcher 10
The last nine meetings have produced five wins for Sunderland and four victories for Reading.
There has never been a goalless draw in this fixture.
They have lost one of six league games since Christmas (W3, D2, L1), having previously suffered seven successive defeats.
Adam Le Fondre has scored a league-high six goals as a substitute this season and has equalled the record for most
goals by a substitute in a Premier League campaign. Tore Andre Flo (for Chelsea in 1997-98) and Jermain Defoe (for
West Ham in 2001-02) also managed the feat.
Without Le Fondre’s goals the Royals would be bottom of the table, 10 point from safety.
The Black Cats have kept five clean sheets in their last nine league games.
Only Manchester City (11) have recorded more Premier League shut-outs than Sunderland this season.
They have the chance to win back-to-back away league matches for the first time in over a year. Last season they
followed up a 3-2 win at QPR on 21 December with a 4-1 victory at Wigan on 3 January.
Reading 6/4 to win: Reading Vs Sunderland betting