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Premier League

  • 22 September 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 23854
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West Brom - Reading Preview: Baggies seek revival against winless Royals

West Brom - Reading Preview: Baggies seek revival against winless Royals

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Steve Clarke's men look to recover from defeat against Fulham as they entertain Brian McDermott's side who are yet to record a league win since promotion as Championship winners

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

WEST BROM

Foster
Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell

Mulumbu, Yacob
Brunt, Morrison, Fortune
Long
READING

McCarthy
Gunter, Gorkss, Pearce, Harte

McCleary, Leigertwood, Karacan, Guthrie, McAnuff
Pogrebnyak

Steve Clarke has backed Billy Jones to start again at right-back if Steven Reid (hamstring) does not recover in time, but left-back Goran Popov (groin) is unlikely to be fit.

Peter Odemwingie (suspended), and winger Jerome Thomas (hip), are unavailable, meaning forwards Marc-Antoine Fortune and Romelu Lukaku, and midfielders Chris Brunt and Graham Dorrans, will compete for two spots in a front three alongside Shane Long.

Alex McCarthy is set to continue in goal ahead of Adam Federici who has struggled with form and fitness (knee), while winger Jimmy Kebe (hamstring) and striker Jason Roberts (calf) are out injured.

The Royals could name an unchanged line-up from that which faced Tottenham on Sunday, but Adam Le Fondre could play up front alongside Pavel Pogrebnyak at some point if Brian McDermott opts to field two strikers.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • West Brom have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine Premier League games at the Hawthorns and have yet to concede at home this season, and have also scored at least two goals in each of their last three home matches.
  • Reading have attempted fewer shots per game on average (7.7) than any other Premier League side except Sunderland (5), but conceded eight goals in their three games so far.
  • Referee Michael Oliver has awarded penalties to the home side in two of his three Premier League outings this season.
  • Shane Long joined the Baggies in summer 2011 after six seasons at the Royals, and scored eight as West Brom finished 10th in the Premier League, while his former club went on to win promotion as the table-topping side in the Championship.
  • In the last four meetings between the two clubs the Royals are unbeaten, winning twice, while there have been three red cards, including one for Long, then of Reading, in the 2010 FA Cup.
  • The Irish international (pictured right) scored the winning goal for Reading the last time these two sides met, as a player in a 1-0 FA Cup win in January 2011, and this week has promised not to celebrate should he score against his old club.
  • Striker Jason Roberts, currently injured, first won promotion to the Premier League with West Brom in 2002, later moving to Portsmouth, Wigan and Blackburn, before signing for Reading in January this year and helping them win promotion with six goals in 17 appearances.
  • Nicky Shorey was released by West Brom this summer to return to Reading, with whom he had won promotion in 2006, gaining two England caps, before moving to Aston Villa in 2008, eventually returning via loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Fulham.

Players to watch

S. Long

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The committed front man led the line in each of Steve Clarke’s four matches, and will be even more relied on to provide a goal threat in the absence of the suspended Peter Odemwingie.

The 25-year-old netted the opening goal in his team’s 2-0 win over Everton, and made his case for a starting role in the Republic of Ireland team with the opening goal against Oman. He will look to capitalise on any defensive mistakes and on any occasion his team-mates get the ball in the penalty area.

P. Pogrebnyak

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The 28-year-old Russia international has been relied on to start games as a single centre-forward in Brian McDermott’s last three matches, but his team struggled to support him up front last weekend against Tottenham.

The target man’s ability to connect with crosses and hold the ball up will be crucial to his side’s chances, while his powerful shooting with either foot could prove decisive for a team short of attacking threat of late.

Editor's Prediction

Until last weekend’s defeat away at Fulham West Brom had looked solid in defence and dangerous up front, picking up convincing wins at the Hawthorns against Liverpool and Everton.

Steve Clarke’s side now have a good opportunity to recover against Brian McDermott’s Reading side that have lost their last two matches and have yet to collect a league win.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

West Bromwich Albion

Reading

Wins
1
1
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
West Bromwich Albion FC West Bromwich Albion
Draw
Reading FC REA
Reading FC Reading
68%
20%

Top 3 Predictions

West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
2 - 0
Reading FC REA
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
2 - 1
Reading FC REA
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
3 - 1
Reading FC REA

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