News and Views

Award Winners Take Form To Stoke

08 February 2013
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading travel to Stoke City this weekend looking to continue their excellent run of form that has seen them pull two points clear of the bottom three. It's been another good week for Reading after they followed up Saturday's 2-1 home victory over Sunderland with confirmation that McDermott and Le Fondre both picked up awards. Royals manager Brian McDermott was named Premier League manager of the month for January, while super-sub Adam Le Fondre was named player of the month after hitting five league games and two more in the FA Cup during the month. January saw Reading go from 17th to 19th with only a 2-2 draw against Chelsea preventing a 100% record in league and cup for the month.

Stoke City find themselves at the other end of the form table and have to look back to Boxing Day last year for their last league victory - a 3-1 home win over Liverpool. Since then they've picked up just two points from six Premier League games. Those points have come at home against the teams either side of Reading in the table currently - Wigan (2-2) and Southampton (3-3). While we might have seen this as a very difficult fixture six weeks again, right now Reading should fancy their chances of picking up the full three points. A draw is the least we would hope for following in the steps of our relegation rivals.

Our recent results also feature draws. On the opening day of the season the teams shared the points with a 1-1 draw at the Madejski Stadium with Le Fondre scoring a late penalty (late goals from Le Fondre - there's a shocker!). Our last trip to Stoke was in the League Cup in September 2008 when the game finished 2-2 only for Reading to lose on penalties. With all things considered a score-draw seems a safe bet and would also almost certainly be enough to keep Reading above the drop zone.

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