News and Views
FA Cup Quarter Final - Crystal Palace Preview
11 March 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Reading will be bidding for a third FA Cup Semi-Final appearance this evening, as they take on Premier League Crystal Palace in the quarter finals of the competition.
Having gone 88 years since our first appearance in the last four, last season saw Reading finally reach that stage of the competition for only the second time. We were narrowly beaten by Arsenal at Wembley, losing 1-2 after taking the game into extra time. The Royals now find themselves just one victory away from consecutive semi-final appearances and another trip to Wembley Stadium. The sold-out match this evening kicks-off at 7:55pm at the Madejski Stadium and will be screened live on the BBC.
Reading's recent FA Cup history has been remarkable. Despite struggling in the Championship both this season and last we have over-achieved in the cup. This season Reading find themselves being the only non-Premier League side left in the competition, with 7 Premier League sides and the Royals hoping to reach the semis and a trip to Wembley. Amazingly this will be Brian McDermott's third quarter final in charge of the Royals and, having lost the previous two, he will be hoping for third time lucky with home advantage against Pardew's Palace.
Former Reading manager Alan Pardew is overdue a good welcome on his return to Madejski Stadium. Although Pardew has never been slow to turn down a good managerial offer, there is no doubt he turned Reading's fortunes around and set the club up to what it became as both Steve Coppell and Brian McDermott went on to take us into the Premier League. Pardew had a great start as Palace manager after leaving Newcastle to take his dream job for the club he enjoyed much success as a player. Newcastle immediately slipped down the table and are fighting the drop this season. Meanwhile Crystal Palace were winning games and well positioned in the top half of the table. Since his promising beginning it has all gone wrong for Pards. He now finds his team on a very poor run of form and the pressure building after a run of 12 league games without victory stretching all the way back to December 2015.
Tonight's match is massive for both clubs. Pardew desperately needs success in the FA Cup to distract from failure in the league. Impressive FA Cup victories over Southampton, Stoke and Tottenham have seen Palace reach the last eight and prevent the fans from turning on who they thought was their saviour. It is a similar situation at Reading for Brian McDermott. However, our league form continues to gradually pick up, with the exception of Tuesday night's 1-3 defeat at Huddersfield. That defeat came as Brian McDermott rested several key players ahead of tonight to make it very clear that the FA Cup is his priority. The truth is that Reading can't go up or down and are near certain for a mid-table finish. The FA Cup is, again, our one chance of making something of the season. Brian McDermott is determined to take that chance tonight and take his Reading side to Wembley, but Pardew's side will remain favourites after dumping out Spurs in the last round.
Brian McDermott will return players that missed out on Tuesday back in the starting eleven. He also has few injury worries as key players have returned to full training in the week. Reading are top goal scorers in the competition so far this season, mostly thanks to Vydra's goals, and the good news is that Vydra is expected to be fit to play. Hal Robson-Kanu, who has been in excellent form, should be back in the team after recovering from a minor injury. Paul McShane will also be available in the centre of defence giving McDermott plenty of options. Yann Kermorgant and George Evans, who played on Tuesday, will be cup tied and unavailable.
Last season we avoided Premier League opposition on the route to Wembley, but this season we put out West Bromwich Albion in the last round to set-up the game against Crystal Palace. That victory against West Brom has set high expectations for Reading fans. If we can beat West Brom then we must have a good chance of defeating Crystal Palace?
- Reading Win: 12/5
- Crystal Palace Win: 13/10 (favourites)
- Draw: 12/5
|21 April 2012||Championship||C Palace (HOME)||D: 2-2||Read report...|
|29 October 2011||Championship||C Palace (Away)||D: 0-0||Read report...|
|26 February 2011||Championship||C Palace (Away)||D: 3-3||Read report...|
|11 September 2010||Championship||C Palace (HOME)||W: 3-0||Read report...|
|17 February 2010||Championship||C Palace (Away)||W: 3-1||Read report...|
|08 December 2009||Championship||C Palace (HOME)||L: 2-4||Read report...|
|21 March 2009||Championship||C Palace (Away)||D: 0-0||Read report...|
|30 August 2008||Championship||C Palace (HOME)||W: 4-2||Read report...|
|20 January 2006||Championship||C Palace (Away)||D: 1-1||Read report...|
|13 September 2005||Championship||C Palace (HOME)||W: 3-2||Read report...|
|06 March 2004||Division 1||C Palace (Away)||D: 2-2||Read report...|
|20 December 2003||Division 1||C Palace (HOME)||L: 0-3||Read report...|
|15 March 2003||Division 1||C Palace (HOME)||W: 2-1||Read report...|
|26 November 2002||Division 1||C Palace (Away)||W: 1-0||Read report...|
|Reading and C Palace - Head to head record (since August 1994)|
|Games Between Reading and C Palace||18|
|C Palace Wins||5|
|C Palace Goals||32|
|Average Goals Per Game||3.5|
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