Reading - Arsenal Preview: Wenger hopes for quick recovery from shock cup exit

The Gunners will be looking for a response after an embarrassing defeat to Bradford City, while Brian McDermott is looking for just the second win of a difficult season

Cummings, Pearce, Mariappa, Shorey
McCleary, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff
Hunt, Le Fondre


  Arsenal FC
Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Arteta, Wilshere
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski

Reading attacking duo Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak are both back in contention to feature on Monday, but the 34-year-old and the Russia international are both unlikely to start.

Jimmy Kebe is back in training after a groin problem and Jem Karacan is returning to fitness, but neither will be in the matchday squad, while Sean Morrison is still unavailable due to an ankle injury.

Danny Guthrie could return to the squad after apologising for refusing to travel to the defeat to Sunderland on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger was without Olivier Giroud for the defeat to Bradford City, but the striker could start at the Madejski Stadium.

Laurent Koscielny returned to training on Friday but is doubtful, while Theo Walcott looks set to miss out with a calf problem.

Andre Santos is still struggling with a stomach muscle injury, while Abou Diaby has been ruled out until at least after Christmas.

  • Reading boss Brian McDermott played for Arsenal from 1977-1984, scoring 13 goals in 44 starts, with 28 substitute appearances.
  • The Royals have scored just one goal against the Gunners in their four previous Premier League meetings, while Arsene Wenger's side have notched 11.
  • Despite scoring five times that amount in just one Capital One Cup game earlier this season, McDermott's men were still on the receiving end of a stunning 7-5 defeat after extra time. 
  • While Shorey is the only member of the current Reading side to have started that game in 2007, with Adam Federici on the bench, both Bacary Sagna and Tomas Rosicky could be involved for Arsenal.
  • The Gunners have won just one game in the month of December - a 2-0 victory over West Brom.
  • That victory took Arsenal's point tally to 24 - their worst total after 16 Premier League games under Wenger.
  • However, the Arsenal boast a plus-10 goal difference, the best record outside of the top three.