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Premier League

  • 9 February 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 26737

Stoke City - Reading Preview: Royals are unbeaten in four

Tony Pulis’ side sit 10th in the table despite a winless run of six games and they will have to overcome Brian McDermott’s in-form team to take all three points


Stoke City
Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson Kightly, Adam, Nzonzi, Etherington
Kelly, Harte, Mariappa, Pearce
Akpan, Leigertwood
McCleary, McAnuff, Kebe

Ex-Liverpool man Charlie Adam should start as could Michael Kightly, with Pulis looking for more attacking options going forward. Michael Owen and Kenwyne Jones are both pushing for starting berths up front.

Marc Wilson remains out with a broken ankle and is not expected to return until the end of February.

Brek Shea is available to make his debut after receiving international clearance following his deadline day move, but will first have to overcome a foot injury.

As for the visitors, Brian McDermott may well name the same starting XI that beat Sunderland 2-1 in their previous match. This would mean another start from the off for January arrivals Stephen Kelly and Hope Akpan.

Pavel Pogrebnyak is likely to get another chance to lead the line with Nick Blackman still adjusting to life in the Premier League, and super-sub Adam le Fondre again likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy remains sidelined with a shoulder problem, with veteran striker Jason Roberts (hip) also still unavailable.


  • Stoke have the third-worst scoring record in the league - having found the back of the net just 24 times. Only QPR (18) and Aston Villa (23) have scored less.
  • Tony Pulis’ side have drawn 12 league matches this season - the joint-most with Everton.
  • The Potters have only won one out of their last 10 Premier League games - a 3-1 win over Liverpool on Boxing Day.
  • The previous meeting between the two sides earlier in the season finished 1-1. Michael Kightly fired the Potters ahead before Adam Le Fondre (pictured right), netted a late penalty.
  • Reading have taken more points from their last seven Premier League games (14) than they had in their opening 18 matches (9).
  • Royals boss Brian McDermott and forward Le Fondre won January’s Premier League manager and player of the month respectively.
  • A win for the visitors would make it five wins from their last seven Premier League matches.

Players to watch

P. Crouch

Position: Attacker

Games: 3

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The ex-Liverpool man has netted five goals and got three assists from his 22 league matches so far this season. This goal tally is impressive enough but Pulis will be hoping for more goals as they push for a European spot. The 32-year-old will lead his side’s attack in the same manner as Pogrebnyak, and he will be hoping to come out on top in the battle of the giant strikers.

J. Kébé

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 29-year-old was his side’s match-winner against Sunderland - netting both goals. This brace took his goal tally in the league to an impressive five in 15 games as well as one assist. His ability to whip crosses into lone frontman Pogrebnyak means the Potters defence may well have to keep him quiet if they are to keep a clean sheet.

Editor's Prediction

The hosts have struggled for results in recent weeks - the opposite from their opponents. Reading have been in blistering form but may well have to settle for a point in an exciting, high-scoring draw.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Stoke City



Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
Reading FC REA
Reading FC Reading

Top 3 Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
2 - 1
Reading FC REA
Stoke City FC STO
1 - 1
Reading FC REA
Stoke City FC STO
1 - 2
Reading FC REA