Reading - Aston Villa Preview: Hosts aim to end three game losing streak against relegation rivals
Two sides in the bottom three go head to head at the Madejski Stadium with the hosts looking for their first win since the start of February against Paul Lambert's strugglers
By Matt Davis
Kelly, Mariappa, Pearce, Harte
Kebe, Leigertwood, Akpan, McAnuff
Le Fondre, Hunt
Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett
Westwood, El Ahmadi
Weimann, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor
Reading will continue with third-choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor with Adam Federici still sidelined with an ankle injury.
Pavel Pogrebnyak serves the second of his three game ban for his red card two weeks ago, allowing Adam Le Fondre to keep his place in the starting line-up. Injured duo Jason Roberts and Alex McCarthy will miss out while Jimmy Kebe is doubtful.
Fabian Delph will only be able to watch the game on the sidelines after picking up 10 yellow cards so far this season, resulting in the midfielder being suspended for two games. Ron Vlaar has missed the last two games with a calf problem but could return.
Long-term absentees Stylian Petrov (leukaemia), Darren Bent (ankle), Marc Albrighton (ankle), Gary Gardner (knee) and Richard Dunne (groin) are all ruled out for the Premier League clash at the Madjeski Stadium.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Aston Villa have failed to win 20 of their last 22 away games
- Reading have kept only three clean sheets this season, but two of them have come in their last six Premier League fixtures.
- In the last six Premier League home fixtures for the Royals, they have scored either before the 10th minute or after the 80th minute.
- Aston Villa have won this fixture on five of the last six occasions.
- On average, both teams manage only three shots on target per game.
- The previous six fixtures has seen an average of three goals per game.
- Based on the last six games, Reading are 12th in the form guide whilst Aston Villa find themselves 16th.
- Aston Villa have lost the away games against last season's promoted teams, gaining zero points at both Southampton and West Ham.
- Aston Villa won the reverse fixture earlier in the season 1-0, down to a goal by leading goalscorer Christian Benteke (pictured right). He is 6/5 to score anytime with bet365.
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Top 3 Predictions
Reading 1-2 Aston Villa
- 20 %
Reading 0-2 Aston Villa
- 11.77 %
Reading 2-1 Aston Villa
- 11.77 %
|Premier League (EPL)||9 Mar 2013||Reading 1 - Aston Villa 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Nov 2012||Aston Villa 1 - Reading 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||7 Mar 2010||Reading 2 - Aston Villa 4|
|14 Apr 2014||Reading 1 - Leicester City 1||ENG2|
|8 Apr 2014||Bournemouth 3 - Reading 1||ENG2|
|5 Apr 2014||Charlton Athletic 0 - Reading 1||ENG2|
|29 Mar 2014||Reading 1 - Huddersfield Town 1||ENG2|
|25 Mar 2014||Reading 1 - Barnsley 3||ENG2|
|9||Adam Le Fondre||Striker|
|21||Jordan Nathaniel Bowery||Striker|
|Adam Le Fondre|
Scoring 11 goals in 23 appearances, statistics suggest that after missing an opportunity to get on the scoresheet on Monday, Villa's leading scorer could just be due a goal.
Despite Aston Villa and Reading's defences both being weak in recent fixtures, justifying their position as relegation battlers, the firepower of Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke will likely be too much for Reading's defence to handle. Even though an Aston Villa clean sheet will also be unlikely, I can't see anything but Paul Lambert's side finishing the game as comfortable winners.