Premier League: Reading host Wigan Athletic at the Madejski Stadium
By Tim Oscroft. Last Updated: 22/02/13 7:27pm
Reading v Wigan: Jordi Gomez sealed a dramatic win in the last minute for Wigan last November
Two points and one point are all that separate Reading and Wigan, who have headed in opposite directions in recent weeks.
The much-improved Royals managed to clamber out of the relegation zone with a good run of form after the start of the year, but defeat at Stoke saw them slip back.
Exiting the FA Cup at Manchester United means Brian McDermott can now focus solely on Premier League survival, but Reading also face Wigan on the back of two straight defeats.
Home form could be key to Reading's survival hopes, and no visiting side has collected three points at the Madejski Stadium in the last five league fixtures.
In contrast, Wigan travel south hoping that their FA Cup form can transfer over into the Premier League.
The Latics are without a win in their last six league games, but that last victory at Aston Villa will give hope that they can carve out a fourth win on the road in this campaign.
However, history does not bode well for Roberto Martinez's men, with Wigan having not won at the Madejski Stadium in their last seven visits.
Reading hope to have Jimmy Kebe fit in time to face Wigan, with the Mali winger having returned to training this week after missing the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United with an unspecified injury.
Mikele Leigertwood had to be replaced after an hour at Old Trafford after suffering a knock and is a doubt whilst Jason Roberts (hip) and Alex McCarthy (shoulder) are still missing.
Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz could return after almost six months out injured.
The centre-back has not played since August after tearing a groin muscle on international duty with Paraguay, but is back in full training and could play some part.
Winger Ryo Miyaichi could also be involved following his recovery from an ankle injury while defender Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) was on the bench for the FA Cup victory over Huddersfield last week and is pushing for a start along with young striker Callum McManaman.
Reading v Wigan
- Wigan have conceded the first goal of the game on more matches than every other PL side this term (17).
- Reading have conceded more shots on target than any other top-flight side this season (151).
- Adam Le Fondre needs one more goal as a substitute to set a Premier League record for a single season (he currently has six).
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 21 McCarthy
- 2 Gunter
- 5 Pearce
- 17 Gorkss
- 24 Cummings
- 11 McAnuff
- 23 Williams
- 37 Obita
- 10 Drenthe
- 7 Pogrebnyak
- 14 Sharp
Team taken from Reading vs Huddersfield Town (Sky Bet Championship) on Saturday 14th December 2013
- 1 Carson
- 17 Boyce
- 21 Ramis
- 25 Barnett
- 22 Beausejour
- 8 Watson B
- 7 McCann
- 16 McArthur
- 19 Powell
- 15 McManaman
- 9 Holt
Team taken from Wigan Athletic vs Bolton Wanderers (Sky Bet Championship) on Sunday 15th December 2013
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|