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Barclays Premier League

The Madejski Stadium (ATT 24,050) 26th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Jones

Reading Reading vs Swansea City Swansea

Reading v Swansea: Pablo Hernandez could return for Michael Laudrup

Last Updated: 24/12/12 12:36pm

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Pablo Hernandez: Could be available again after a thigh injury

Pablo Hernandez: Could be available again after a thigh injury

Reading head into back-to-back home fixtures over the Christmas period knowing that it is now or never if they are to escape the clutches of Premier League relegation.

A controversial, last-gasp defeat against champions Manchester City on Saturday extended their run of defeats to seven and ensured they remain marooned at the bottom of the table, six points from safety.

Yet the festive period has brought the offering of hope, with Brian McDermott's side welcoming Swansea City to the Madejski Stadium on Boxing Day and then West Ham United on December 29.

Neither appear easy games on paper - Swansea are 11th and West Ham 12th - but both teams are winless in their last three and Swansea at least will head to Berkshire slightly short of form.

Reading are also tougher to beat at home than it may first appear. The hapless thrashing at the hands of Arsenal aside, their only other defeats at the Madejski this season were against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

That is not to say Swansea won't be hoping for three points. Michael Laudrup's side have often been at their most potent on the road, with a 2-0 triumph at the Emirates Stadium at the start of December being their third away win of the season.

And although that was their last victory after what has been a trying month, they will have been buoyed by holding Manchester United to a hard-fought 1-1 draw on Sunday.

They also know they can rely on one of Europe's hottest forwards to deliver goals against the Premier League's leakiest defence, with Spanish sensation Michu having taken his league tally for the season to 13 with his strike at the weekend.

Reading Badge Reading

Veteran Reading striker Jason Roberts (hip) is again missing as Swansea City visit the Madejski Stadium.

The 34-year-old has missed the Royals' last three games, but is close to regaining fitness.

Defender Sean Morrison (ankle) is still sidelined and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) is out long term, but Reading have no fresh injuries from the weekend loss at Manchester City.

Swansea  Badge Swansea

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup may rotate his squad for the trip to Berkshire.

The Dane hopes to have winger Pablo Hernandez available after a thigh injury, but Angel Rangel is set to miss out again with a calf problem.

Ki Sung-Yueng could come back into the side after Kemy Agustien was handed a starting role against Manchester United on Sunday.

Previous game's starting line-ups

  • Federici 1 Federici
  • Gunter 2 Gunter
  • Pearce 5 Pearce
  • Hector 15 Hector
  • Obita 11 Obita
  • Chalobah 14 Chalobah

  • Norwood 6 Norwood
  • Williams 23 Williams
  • McCleary 12 McCleary

  • Mackie 19 Mackie
  • Robson-Kanu 9 Robson-Kanu

Team taken from Reading vs Brentford (Sky Bet Championship) on Saturday 25th April 2015

  • Fabianski 1 Fabianski
  • Rangel 22 Rangel
  • Fernandez F 33 Fernandez F
  • Williams A 6 Williams A
  • Amat 2 Amat
  • Cork 24 Cork
  • Shelvey 8 Shelvey
  • Dyer 12 Dyer
  • Sigurdsson 23 Sigurdsson

  • Montero 20 Montero

  • Oliveira 17 Oliveira

Team taken from Swansea City vs Newcastle United (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 25th April 2015

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2 Manchester City 34 67
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4 Manchester United 33 65
5 Liverpool 33 58
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7 Southampton 34 57
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11 Crystal Palace 34 42
12 Everton 33 41
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17 Leicester City 33 31
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19 Queens Park Rangers 34 27
20 Burnley 34 26


Reading v Swansea

Laudrup pleased with performance

Laudrup pleased with performance

Michael Laudrup felt Swansea dominated at Reading but they are now without a win in their last four matches. Top scorer Michu limped off late on.

Brian McDermott: Was pleased with the Swansea draw

Precious point for McDermott

Reading boss Brian McDermott was upbeat after his side's 0-0 draw with Swansea at the Madejski Stadium.

Michu: Doubt for Swansea's clash with Fulham

Swansea suffer Michu setback

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is hoping Michu will be back soon after suffering an ankle injury against Reading.