Tottenham - Reading Preview: Hosts look to continue pursuit of Champions League qualification

Spurs go into Tuesday's clash looking to cling to fourth spot, while the visitors need a win to lift them towards safety but have struggled badly away from home this season


Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen
Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey
Defoe, Adebayor

Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte

Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff

Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) is close to making his long-awaited return at left-back for the hosts, having not kicked a ball since September, but this match may come too soon for him. Younes Kaboul (knee) will not be available until February.

The controversial booking collected by Gareth Bale against Sunderland on Saturday was his fifth of the season and rules him out of this match so Clint Dempsey could come in on the left flank.

For Brian McDermott's side, striker Jason Roberts (thigh) is a doubt while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) is likely to be a season-long absentee. Pavel Pogrebnyak should continue in attack after he scored the winning goal against West Ham.

  • So far this season Tottenham have managed just 63 per cent of the goals at home (14) that they have accumulated away from White Hart Lane (22).
  • Andre Villas-Boas already has two more points than he had with Chelsea last year following the New Year's Day fixtures.
  • Jermain Defoe (pictured right) and Gareth Bale represent the second top-scoring pair of Premier League teammates behind Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
  • Reading have the division's joint-second-worst goalscoring record away from home, behind West Ham.
  • The visitors are also the side in who have lost the most away matches in the league, with eight.
  • Despite this, though, Brian McDermott's side have only scored one less goal altogether than they had after the same number of fixtures of their Championship-winning campaign last season.