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Premier League

  • 6 April 2013
  • • 12:45
  • • Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 24108
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Reading - Southampton Preview: Adkins looks to exact revenge on former employers in make-or-break clash

With the Royals in the midst of a six-game losing streak, the newly-appointed boss is in dire need of all three points to add vitality to the hosts' decaying survival hopes

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

READING
Reading
Federici
Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte
Guthrie, Leigertwood, Karacan
Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak, McAnuff
SOUTHAMPTON

Boruc
Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw
Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Davis
Rodriguez, Lambert

Reading are likely to welcome back Adam Federici from an ankle injury, but the clash comes too soon for Jimmy Kebe, who misses out with a groin strain.

Jason Roberts remains out for the season after undergoing surgery on a hip complaint last month.

Contrary to their opponents, Southampton arrive at the Madejski Stadium largely in rude health.

However, Mauro Pochettino will be forced to sweat on the fitness of key playmaker Adam Lallana (groin) and defender Danny Fox (hip) but will most likely welcome back Artur Boruc, who has been training since Monday after being withdrawn against Chelsea due to a virus.

Gaston Ramirez was an unused substitute last time out after a late arrival back from international duty, but is expected to return to contention on Saturday.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Only Wigan (32) have shipped more goals at home this season than Reading (29).
  • No side have faced more shots at goal in the top five European Leagues this season than the Royals.
  • The Royals have conceded the first goal on 19 occasions this season; more than any other team.
  • Southampton have taken just two points from bottom half opposition, since Pochettino’s arrival, despite claiming 11 from teams in the top half, including wins against Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
  • Only three players in the top five European leagues have fashioned as many goalscoring chances from open play as Rickie Lambert (pictured right) this season, who is also the Premier League's leading English goalscorer with 14.
  • Southampton have failed to return from their travels with a win under Pochettino, with their last away victory coming, ironically, during Adkins' penultimate game at the helm against Aston Villa.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Adam FedericiGoalkeeper
2Chris GunterDefender
3Adrian MariappaDefender
15Sean MorrisonDefender
2Stephen KellyDefender
20Jem KaracanMidfielder
11Jobi McAnuffMidfielder
19Hal Robson-KanuMidfielder
35Danny GuthrieMidfielder
39Hope AkpanMidfielder
9Adam Le FondreStriker
41Alex McCarthyGoalkeeper
26Alex PearceDefender
23 Ian HarteDefender
8Mikele LeigertwoodDefender
12Garath McClearyMidfielder
29Pavel PogrebnyakStriker
10Noel HuntStriker
31Artur BorucGoalkeeper
2Nathaniel ClyneDefender
3Maya YoshidaDefender
26Jos HooiveldDefender
3Luke ShawDefender
4Morgan SchneiderlinMidfielder
8Steven DavisMidfielder
10G. RamírezMidfielder
18Jack CorkDefender
-Rickie LambertStriker
9Jay RodriguezStriker
1Kelvin DavisGoalkeeper
6Jose Rocha FonteDefender
13Daniel FoxDefender
16James Ward-ProwseMidfielder
20Adam LallanaMidfielder
21Guilherme Do PradoMidfielder
13Jason PuncheonMidfielder
Players to Watch
Hal Robson-Kanu
Hal Robson-Kanu
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 19
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Despite scoring just five times all season, the Welshman has found the net twice in his last four Premier League outings, proving he is more than capable of deputising for the injured Jimmy Kebe on the right flank. To top off his recent prolific form, the 23-year-old fired Wales to glory as they overcame Scotland during the recent international break
Jay Rodriguez
Jay Rodriguez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After a somewhat disappointing season that saw him find the net just once before Adkins' dismissal, the former Burnley man has thrived under Pochettino. Since his arrival, Rodriguez has netted four times, including two in his last two outings against Liverpool and Chelsea - a feat that has earned him a few column inches linking him with a summer switch to the Merseyside titans.
Prediction
The common sentiment is that time is most certainly running out for Reading, to the point that games like these are fast becoming last-chance saloon clashes for the Royals. Overcoming a team in such a superb vein of form would usually be a bridge too far for the hosts, but it bears repeating that this is a team Nigel Adkins has crafted over a long and fruitful tenure. In other words, he knows their strengths and weaknesses. As two of the poorest defences in the league this season, there could be goals in abundance.
Editor's Prediction

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