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Premier League

  • 8 December 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
  • Referee: J. Moss
  • • Attendance: 29331

Southampton - Reading Preview: Saints face relegation rivals Royals

Nigel Adkins' side hope to leave the relegation zone with a win in what could be an early six-pointer as Brian McDermott hopes to stop his team's descent into a battle for survival



Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw
Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana

Cummings, Mariappa, Morrison, Shorey

Robson-Kanu, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff
Le Fondre, Roberts

Southampton have no new fitness concerns but Frazer Richardson (hip), Daniel Fox (knee) and Richard Chaplow (thigh) are doubtful as they look to recover from injury.

Nigel Adkins could therefore name a line up unchanged in six successive matches, with Gaston Ramirez available after returning from compassionate leave granted earlier in the week.

Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) was this week ruled out until next year following surgery, while Jem Karacan (knee) is yet to recover from injury and right-back Chris Gunter (hamstring) is unavailable.

Adrian Mariappa has been preferred over Kaspars Gorkss alongside Sean Morrison at centre back. Central midfielder Danny Guthrie (thigh) is recovering from injury but could make a comeback in this fixture. Hal Robson-Kanu has been chosen on the right wing in recent fixtures ahead of Garath McCleary, and Jimmy Kebe (groin) who is doubtful.

Adam Le Fondre has started alongside Jason Roberts in a front two of late, but Noel Hunt will also be fighting for a starting spot and could appear from the bench, while Pavel Pogrebnyak (knock) is doubtful.

  • Southampton’s defeat 1-0 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday ended a four-match unbeaten run in which the club collected two wins.
  • Reading have lost their last 3 matches in the Premier League, and have lost each of their last three league away games by a one-goal margin.
  • There have been no home victories in the last four league meetings between the two teams, with the away side winning twice and two draws.
  • The Royals overtook the Saints with three games to go in this fixture last season as the pair won automatic promotion to the Premier League with Reading as champions. Jason Roberts got the opening goal before Rickie Lambert equalised, and Adam Le Fondre (pictured) came off the bench to score two more and record a 3-1 win.
  • Nigel Adkins’ side have conceded more goals than any other team this season in the Premier League (32), but have improved recently, concededing just four goals in their last five games.
  • Brian McDermott’s side are also porous in defence and have allowed more shots through than any other team this season (197).
  • The South Coast club have thrown away more points from winning positions at home than any other Premier League team this season (9), while Reading have thrown away more points from winning positions on the road than any other side this season (10), and the most overall (17).
  • Southampton have conceded more first half goals than any other Premier League team this season (15), while Reading have conceded more second half goals than any other (18).
  • Reading have scored three or more goals in seven different Premier League games since May 2007, but lost three of these and won just twice. On Saturday the Royals’ 4-3 home defeat to Manchester United equalled the Premier League record for most goals in a first half (7), while in September that year they equalled the record for most goals in a match overall with a 7-4 defeat away at Portsmouth, in which Nicky Shorey played.

Players to watch

R. Lambert

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The forward has netted six goals and two assists this season and fired the Saints to promotion from the Championship last year with a final tally of 27. The 30-year-old provides an aerial presence up front and valuable experience to a youthful side, who will look to his finishing prowess as they hope to record their third win in five matches and climb out of the bottom three.

A. Le Fondre

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The striker netted his third in four games against Manchester United last Saturday to bring his tally to four this season, and his two-goal success from the bench in this fixture last year should bring him further confidence. His opponents have tightened up their previously unstable defence but the 26-year-old will hope to trouble with his positioning and finishing instincts as the Royals hope to end a run of three straight defeats.

Editor's Prediction

Nigel Adkins has improved his team’s defence following a shaky start to the season, leading the Saints on a four-match unbeaten run prior to Saturday’s defeat at Liverpool. Brian McDermott’s Royals however do not have that level of confidence having lost three consecutive matches, and could be out-gunned at the St Mary’s Stadium.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Southampton FC SOT
Southampton FC Southampton
Reading FC REA
Reading FC Reading

Top 3 Predictions

Southampton FC SOT
8 - 8
Reading FC REA
Southampton FC SOT
2 - 1
Reading FC REA
Southampton FC SOT
1 - 2
Reading FC REA