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Arsenal Look To Bounce Back At Reading

17 December 2012
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from their embarrassing League Cup defeat against Phil Parkinson's League Two Bradford City, as they visit the Madejski Stadium this evening. And you'd have to say that this is an ideal opportunity for the Gunners to ease the pressure on boss Arsene Wenger after a very average season so far. You can probably only describe Arsenal as mid-table this season, but they'll be obvious favourites to win having already thumped seven goals past Reading at the Madejski earlier this season in the 5-7 League Cup game. Reading were 4-0 up in that fixture, but no-one will be expecting a similar start in this League meeting after Reading have lost the last two games without scoring a goal. The Royals are on the back of five straight league defeats that has seen them drop from outside the bottom three to bottom of the Premier League table. Reading are six points adrift and relegation feels a near certainty.

Arsenal have beaten Reading in every previous competitive meeting. The average score between the two sides in recent history is Reading 1 Arsenal 4. That feels like a good measure for this fixture. Arsenal's away form isn't too impressive this term but it is still superior to Reading's home form. The Royals have picked up that single win at home, against Everton, and picked up four draws but have leaked 14 goals in the 7 league games. Arsenal have only won twice away from home but have only let in six goals in eight away games. Even Reading scoring a goal would be an achievement. The Royals still have an extensive injury list with Morisson, Kebe and Karacan all set to miss out once more. Roberts and Pogrebnyak may be available for selection, and this is just the type of game that needs Jason Roberts.

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