News and Views

In-Form Reading Face Chelsea

30 January 2013
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading turn their attention away from the circus of the January transfer window and back to the fight for Premier League survival as Chelsea visit the Madejski Stadium. The Royals have hit some good form after a poor start to the season and have got themselves back in touch with teams outside the bottom three. Reading's run of four straight wins, and five wins from six fixtures has included two FA Cup victories to take Reading to an away meeting an Manchester United in round five. In the league we've twice staged late comebacks to come dramatically from behind to defeat West Brom 3-2 and Newcastle United 2-1. Reading will have to do something equally dramatic to stand a chance of picking up points against Chelsea. If Reading can at least draw tonight then they will climb from 19th to 17th and out of bottom three.

Chelsea may be without defender David Luiz and goalkeeper Petr Cech due to injury, and of course will be missing Eden Hazard who is suspended after his ball boy kicking antics. Reading have no new injury worries, although Noel Hunt might join Jason Roberts and not make the squad.

The Royals put in an impressive showing at Stamford Bridge earlier this season and did better than the 2-4 scoreline suggested. Reading led Chelsea 2-1 for most of the game thanks to goals from Pogrebnyak and Guthrie. The previous game before that was exactly five years ago today when Chelsea beat Reading by a single goal at their place. Our last home fixture was a 1-2 defeat at the start of the 2007/2008 fixture. Our only point against Chelsea in the Premier League came from the away trip on Boxing Day in 2006 when a late Essien own goal topped up Lita's effort to give Reading a 2-2 draw. We'd take a draw again tonight. Chelsea may have only taken one victory from their last four games but a point for Reading would be a great result against the third placed team who have only lost two league games away from home this season.

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