A real relegation six pointer as Aston Villa take on the Royals.
It’s squeaky bum time at the bottom of the Premier League table. Reading take on Aston Villa, one point and one place below them, in a game that could have huge ramifications for both clubs. Brian McDermott’s side have lost their last three but Villa, with one league win in their previous 11 matches, are not in much better shape. Stuart Taylor, a former Villa player, continues in goal for Reading in the absence of Adam Federici while Fabian Delph’s suspension opens the door for Yacouba Sylla to make his full Villa debut.
Venue Madejski Stadium, Saturday 3pm
Last season n/a
Referee Jon Moss
This season’s matches 15 Y46, R1, 3.13 cards per game
Subs from Andersen, Guthrie, Karacan, McCleary, Morrison, Blackman, Robson-Kanu, Shorey, Carrico, Gunter, Cummings, Pearce, Tabb
Doubtful Kébé (groin), Guthrie (calf)
Injured Federici (ankle, 16 Mar), McCarthy (shoulder, Apr), Roberts (hip, Aug)
Suspended Pogrebnyak (second of three)
Form guide LLLWDW Disciplinary record Y33 R1
Leading scorer Le Fondre 10
Subs from Given, Dawkins, Ireland, Bannan, Holman, Bennett, Bowery, Lichaj, Burke, Williams, Stevens, Carruthers
Doubtful None Injured Bent (foot, 16 Mar), El Ahmadi (ankle, 16 Mar), Herd (foot, 16 Mar), Albrighton (foot, Apr), Gardner (knee, May), Dunne (groin, unknown), Petrov (leukaemia, unknown) Suspended Delph (first of two)
Form guide LLWDLD Disciplinary record Y59 R2
Leading scorer Benteke 11
Villa have won eight of the nine league meetings between the clubs. Christian Benteke’s 80th-minute winner in November’s reverse fixture lifted Villa out of the bottom three.
Reading’s only league victory over Villa came in February 2007 when Steve Sidwell scored twice in a 2-0 home win.
There has been a 90th-minute goal in four of the last five games between these clubs in all competitions.
Reading have suffered three consecutive defeats, having previously gone four games unbeaten.
They are yet to beat another team currently in the bottom five, losing twice to Wigan, once to Villa and Southampton and drawing with QPR.
Brian McDermott’s side have lost 20 points from winning positions – only Southampton (27 points) have fared worse.
The Royals have the worst second-half record in the top flight, outscoring the opposition on only six occasions and being outscored 15 times.
Nonetheless, they have scored a league-high 44% of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season.
Hal Robson-Kanu’s strike against Everton last weekend was Reading’s 10th league goal by a substitute this season, more than any other club.
Adam Le Fondre needs one more goal to become the most prolific substitute in a Premier League season. He has currently scored six goals from the bench. Jermain Defoe (2000-01) and Tor Andre Flo (1997-98) also scored six.
Stephen Kelly is set to make his 250th club career appearance.
The Villans have won only five of their last 38 Premier League games, including one of the last 11, and accrued 29 points during that period.
Villa’s current tally of 24 points is their equal-lowest after 28 games of a top-flight season. They had the equivalent total in 1955-56 (recalculated to three points for a win).
Paul Lambert’s side have come from behind to claim only two points this season, fewer than any other Premier League team.
No team has scored fewer goals or conceded more in the second-half of games than Villa (13 scored, 36 conceded).
Monday’s defeat by Manchester City was the fourth Premier League game this season in which they have registered only one shot on target.
The club are one short of becoming the eighth team to score 1,000 Premier League goals.
Charles N’Zogbia could make the 200th league start of his career.
11/2 on Adam Le Fondre to score the first goal: Reading vs Aston Villa Betting