News and Views

Tough Festive Period Starts At Man City

21 December 2012
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Bottom of the league Reading FC face a tough festive period, which starts with a trip to current Premier League Champions Manchester City on Saturday. City are currently second in the Premier League and need three points to attempt to close the gap on Manchester United who lead the table by six points. Six points is the same gap that separates Reading from a position of safety after six consecutive league defeats. You have to fear for Reading making the trip to City on the back of such a bad run. A huge defeat is definately a possibility, and clearly reflected in the bookmaker's odds, and anything other than that would be a bonus. It's unlikely to be a happy weekend for Reading fans as they face the prospect of being bottom of the Premier League at Christmas.

You have to love the continued optimism ahead of these games from the club. The club have published some gems from Manchester City brothers Kolo Toure and Yaya Toure ahead of the game. Kolo Toure is quoted as saying: "Reading are a team that we need to take seriously. They lost against Arsenal on Monday but we can see that they can score goals and I think going forward they are really good.". His brother chips in with "I've seen a lot of Reading and I know they are a good side... They will fight and bring good support and will keep going to the end - they looked dead and buried against Arsenal on Monday when they were 4-0 down, but they still scored twice late on to make a game of it." Well, they are right of course - Reading are a good side. However, as Jimmy Kebe put it so well, we are a good Championship side rather than a good Premier League side.

Kebe should feature in tomorrow's game as he continues his unpredictable on and off the pitch antics after returning from injury, and scoring, in Monday's 2-5 defeat to Arsenal. Brian McDermott backed the player after he went to the press with an interview criticising the board for lack of investment. Kebe was simply telling it how it is and seems to have got away with it. We might also see the involvement of Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan. Guthrie hasn't fallen out with the club for a few days now and might have earnt himself another rare appearance in the Reading shirt.

Bizarrely, we have a very impressive Premier League history against Manchester City. We've won three of our four previous Premier League fixtures and the other game we nearly picked up a draw away from home - only being denied by a stoppage time goal. The most memorable trip was in February 2007 when Leroy Lita scored two in Manchester with Reading sixth placed in the table after a 2-0 win. Happy Days.

Reading follow up the City game with a home fixture against Swansea City on Boxing Day. That might be seen as one of our better chances of ending the run of defeats with fixtures at home against West Ham United on the 29th and away at Spurs on New Years Day to follow.

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