Newcastle United v Reading, Premier League: Preview, Probable Teams
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 19, 2013 10:47 PM EST
Newcastle United host Reading at St James' Park, with the Magpies looking to avoid falling into the relegation zone. Alan Pardew's men are presently only two points above the drop zone and could slip into the bottom three if Reading win (and Wigan beat Sunderland) by the end of the weekend.
The Royals, meanwhile, are desperately in need of points themselves. Brian McDermott is in 19th place and trails Aston Villa and the Latics by goal difference.
The reverse fixture at the Madejski Stadium ended 2-2, with Senegal striker Demba Ba nettin a brace for the Magpies.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 3pm GMT. Live radio commentary is on BBC Newcastle. Highlights will be on Match of the Day on BBC One and BBC One HD, at 10.30pm GMT.
Newcastle come into this game on the back of a goalless draw at Carrow Road last week. And a measure of just how poorly placed they are this season is that the result was a good one for the Tyneside club. Prior to kick-off against Norwich City, Newcastle had lost seven of the last eight game and the run included an embarrassing defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup and a 7-3 thumping at the Emirates in a league match.
The club's home form is some cause for comfort, with all five Premier League wins this season at St James' Park. However, of the 11 games played there, Newcastle have lost five, meaning it is a hit-or-miss affair. Goals have been at a premium, particularly since leading goal scorer Demba Ba signed for Chelsea earlier this month. Defensive reinforcements were added though, with French defender Mathieu Debuchy transferring from Ligue 1. Overall, Pardew will be aware he has a difficult task to save Newcastle from relegation.
Reading, meanwhile, are on a relative high. The Royals are on a two-game winning streak and have won three of the last four, with a defeat to Tottenham the only dropped points in recent weeks. However, the club will be concerned about awful away form.
Reading have lost nine of 11 games on the road, in the league, and have only two points from away games this season. In addition, the fact they've conceded 21 goals in those 11 games will worry McDermott, particularly since scoring goals has been equally problematic (eight scored in 11 games). Expect the visitors to be cautious early in the game, with Newcastle the side doing all the pressing.
- Last Five Matches (all competitions, most recent first): D L L L L
- Last Match: Norwich City 0 - 0 Newcastle United
- Last Five Matches (all competitions, most recent first): W W L W D
- Last Match: Reading 3 - 2 West Bromwich Albion
Yohan Cabaye could start this game. The French midfielder was a second half substitute in the last match and played a trouble-free 30 minutes. Striker Shola Ameobi returns after a one-match suspension and defender Steven Taylor (hamstring) is in contention for a role as well.
All the attention will be on Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini. The centre-back is in the midst of negotiations over an unexpected return to his home country but the club captain will feature in this game.
Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa remains unavailable and Ryan Taylor (knee), Haris Vukic (knee), Dan Gosling (ankle) and Danny Simpson (foot) are all out as well.
Probable Line-up: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Anita, Cabaye, Gutierrez; Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Cisse
Reading may opt to field an unchanged side from the one that beat the Baggies. But they could feature new signings Stephen Kelly and Hope Akpan. A third new player, Daniel Carrico, started the last game but is likely to have to settle for the bench this time around.
Probable Line-up: Federici; Harte, Pearce, Mariappa, Kelly; Kebe, Karacan, Guthrie, Akpan; Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak
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