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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: READING V WIGAN ATHLETIC

17 February 2015

Royal visit for Latics as Malky Mackay’s side look to close gap to safety to six points.

  • Latics hoping to repeat last season’s win at the Madejski Stadium.
  • 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium in last meeting between two sides on the opening day of the campaign.
  • Game will be beamed back to the DW Stadium live for those fans unable to make the trip to Berkshire.
Malky Mackay takes his Latics side to Berkshire on Tuesday evening to face fellow Scot Steve Clarke and his Reading side at the Madejski Stadium (8.00pm kick-off).

Emyr Huws and Chris McCann will miss the trip to Berkshire whilst Leon Barnett remains doubtful, leaving the door open for Harry Maguire and Jason Pearce to make Latics debuts after Liam Ridgewell returned to Portland Timbers last week.

The Royals return to the Madejski Stadium after progressing to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup at the expense of Derby County on Saturday and Clarke’s side have won half of the games he has taken charge of in all competitions, losing just once on their own patch – the former West Brom manager’s first game in charge against Watford.

The game will be beamed back to the DW Stadium for those fans unable to make the 400-mile round trip to Reading whilst fans who do wish to travel can pay on the day at the Madejski Stadium, for further details click here.

LAST TIME OUT



Reading 1–2 Wigan Athletic
Saturday 21st December 2013
Madejski Stadium
Sky Bet Championship

Latics continued their push for a Sky Bet Championship play-off place as two goals inside the first 12 minutes ensured they left Reading with all three points on their last visit to the Madejski Stadium.

Chris McCann gave Latics an early lead when he beat Alex McCarthy from the edge of the area before Nick Powell doubled the advantage after getting in behind Royals defender Alex Pearce.

Billy Sharp blazed a penalty over for the hosts before Pavel Pogrebnyak set up a tense finish with a header 22 minutes from time.

READING IN 2014/15 SO FAR

An upturn in fortunes since Steve Clarke’s appointment as Royals boss in December have seen the Berkshire outfit steer clear of the relegation zone in the Sky Bet Championship but a play-off push may be too far away, leaving priorities potentially with their FA Cup campaign after a win over Derby County on Saturday sent the Royals into the quarter-finals.

It was always going to be a season of transition for Reading as the takeover of the club by a Thai consortium, rumoured from pre-season, took until early September to complete.

Key players such as Adam Le Fondre, Alex McCarthy and Sean Morrison left the club in the summer transfer window whilst Simon Cox, Oliver Norwood and Anton Ferdinand arrived on permanent deals.

The season began with former Latic Nigel Adkins bringing a young side to the DW Stadium and earning a 2-2 draw before wins over Middlesbrough, Fulham and Millwall left the Royals sat in sixth position after seven games.

A defeat to Sheffield Wednesday just days after the success over the Lions brought about a change in fortunes and just two points would follow from the next possible 15.

Wins over Rotherham United and Norwich City brought about brief respite but a 6-1 defeat Birmingham City in mid-December spelt the end of Adkins’ 20-month reign at the Madejski Stadium.

Two days after the defeat at St. Andrew’s, Clarke was appointed as boss after being relieved of his duties as West Brom manager last season.

Despite losing his first game in charge, the former Chelsea defender has made a positive impact with popular striker Yakubu arriving in Berkshire and Nathaniel Chalobah joining on loan from Chelsea for the remainder of the campaign.

Wins of Norwich City, Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves have added to Reading’s respectable points total under Clarke but the players and supporters would be forgiven for having one eye on an FA Cup last eight that contains a maximum of five Premier League teams, going into tonight’s fixture between Preston North End and Manchester United.

ONE TO WATCH – SIMON COX



Signed at the start of the campaign from Nottingham Forest, Republic of Ireland international Simon Cox is enjoying life back at the Madejski Stadium after initially leaving the club to join Swindon Town in 2008.

Born in Reading, Cox is eligible to play for Ireland due to his Irish grandmother and his career has taken off since making nine substitute appearances for his hometown club between September 2005 and January 2008.

Cox, who had loan spells at Brentford and Northampton Town, scored nine goals in 21 appearances on loan at Swindon Town and made the move permanent in 2008 before adding a further 38 goals in 67 appearances at the County Ground.

West Brom parted with £1.5m for Cox’s services in July 2009 and he scored 18 goals in 79 appearances during his three years at the Hawthorns.

A move to Nottingham Forest followed in 2012 and Cox continued to impress, playing both up front and in wide areas before his move to Reading two years later.

Since re-joining the Royals, Cox has notched eight goals in 34 appearances.

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