Reading - Liverpool Preview: Royals search for first point under Adkins
The newly appointed boss is yet to avoid defeat since taking charge at the Madejski Stadium and will likely face a tough afternoon against the Brendan Rodger's Europe-chasing side
By Adam Mazrani
Kelly, Mariappa, Morrison, Gunter
Robson-Kanu, Karacan, Guthrie, McAnuff
Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak
Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique
Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson
Coutinho, Sturridge, Suarez
Reading continue to be without Jason Roberts (thigh) and Jimmy Kebe (groin), while Hope Akpan is struggling with a knock picked up in the defeat to Southampton last week.
Pavel Pogrebnyak may replace him, joining Adam Le Fondre in a two-pronged attack.
Liverpool have doubts over Stewart Downing (illness), with Daniel Sturridge set to step up to Brendan Rodgers' front-line.
Youngster Raheem Sterling (thigh) has been ruled out, while Fabio Borini, Joe Allen and Martin Kelly will all miss the rest of the season.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Reading last hosted Liverpool in the Premier League in December 2007, where goals from Stephen Hunt, Kevin Doyle and James Harper gave the eventually relegated Royals a 3-1 win over the Reds. Steven Gerrard struck for the visitors.
- From that matchday squad, only Nicky Shorey and Adam Federici remain at the club.
- Only Wigan have conceded more goals at home than Reading this season.
- The Royals' central-midfielders have only contributed two goals in the Premier League this season, while Liverpool captain Gerrard (pictured right) already has nine to his name.
- Only Manchester United and Tottenham have scored more goals away from home in the league than the Reds this season.
- There has never been a goalless draw between these two sides in nine meetings.
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Top 3 Predictions
Reading 0-3 Liverpool
- 20.27 %
Reading 0-2 Liverpool
- 15.36 %
Reading 1-3 Liverpool
- 11.07 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 13, 2013||Reading 0 - Liverpool 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Oct 20, 2012||Liverpool 1 - Reading 0|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Jan 13, 2010||Liverpool 1 - Reading 2|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Jan 2, 2010||Reading 1 - Liverpool 1|
|England - Capital One Cup(League Cup) (CCUP)||Sep 25, 2007||Reading 2 - Liverpool 4|
|Apr 22, 2014||Reading 2 - Middlesbrough 0||ENG2|
|Apr 18, 2014||Wigan Athletic 3 - Reading 0||ENG2|
|Apr 14, 2014||Reading 1 - Leicester 1||ENG2|
|Apr 8, 2014||Bournemouth 3 - Reading 1||ENG2|
|Apr 5, 2014||Charlton 0 - Reading 1||ENG2|
|9||Adam Le Fondre||Striker|
|Adam Le Fondre|
The former Rotherham man has gone quiet in recent weeks after lighting up the Premier League at the turn of the year. Nigel Adkins seems keen to give him more of a chance to start than Brian McDermott did, however, and if he gets an opportunity on Saturday do not bank on him passing it up
With the likes of Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard alongside him, the choice of Henderson here might surprise many. However, after a tough start to his Anfield career, the England international has improved in recent months to become a vital cog of Brendan Rogers' midfield. Able to defend and break forward with equal measure, Reading may struggle to cope with his runs from deep.
The Royals and Adkins will certainly try not to lose hope but, unfortunately, they look rather doomed with their survival prospects this season. The hosts have struggled from counterattacks all season long and there is nothing this Liverpool team will like more than to hit Reading on the break with the pace and trickery of Suares, Sturridge and Coutinho.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed