Premier League: Reading face Aston Villa in a relegation battle
By Daniel Storey - Follow me on Twitter @danielstorey85. Last Updated: 11/03/13 11:23am
Paul Lambert: Will be hoping to record Aston Villa's third away win of the season.
Aston Villa travel to Reading in a match that will do much to determine the Premier League future of both sides.
Both sides have lost momentum after positive results to fall back into the relegation mire, hitting a tough patch at just the wrong time.
Reading have lost their last three Premier League games to Everton, Stoke and Wigan, with the 3-0 drubbing to relegation rivals Wigan in the Royals' last home game a particularly low moment.
With Reading taking 18 of their 23 points this season at home, it is vital that they make the most of Saturday's fixture with a victory if they are to shake the tag of relegation favourites.
Brian McDermott will be concerned that the goals of Adam Le Fondre have dried up, and the striker has failed to score in four games after scoring five in his previous three matches.
Villa, meanwhile, have lost tight encounters against better opposition in their last two games, and there were definite signs of positivity during Monday night's 1-0 defeat against Manchester City at Villa Park. However, they have not won in seven away games, conceding 22 goals in the process and only Southampton have conceded more on their travels.
The game certainly meets the cliched definition of 'six-pointer', and both managers will know that defeat would leave little doubt as to the severity of their situations.
Third-choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor will again take his place between the posts for the visit of former club Aston Villa.
Taylor made his first Premier League appearance since 2008 in last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Everton after Adam Federici sprained an ankle.
Federici is still at least a week away while Jimmy Kebe is also a doubt for the relegation clash.
Pavel Pogrebnyak serves the second of his three-game ban while fellow striker Jason Roberts (hip) and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) are still absent.
Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph has been ruled out of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League relegation battle at Reading through suspension.
Delph serves a two-game ban after collecting his 10th yellow card of the campaign during Monday's 1-0 home defeat against Manchester City.
Villa boss Paul Lambert is hopeful captain Ron Vlaar will recover from the calf injury that has ruled him out of the last two games, but striker Darren Bent (foot) is again set to miss out.
- Reading have lost four of their five Barclays Premier League games against Aston Villa.
- Reading have conceded more goals to crosses (18) than any other team in the Premier League this season.
- Matthew Lowton is one of only three outfield players to play every minute of every Premier League game this season (along with Leighton Baines and Steven Gerrard).
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 21 McCarthy
- 2 Gunter
- 5 Pearce
- 35 Hector
- 37 Obita
- 22 Blackman
- 20 Guthrie
- 16 Akpan
- 10 Drenthe
- 19 Robson-Kanu
- 9 Le Fondre
Team taken from Reading vs Brighton and Hove Albion (Sky Bet Championship) on Saturday 8th March 2014
- 1 Guzan
- 7 Bacuna
- 4 Vlaar
- 2 Baker
- 23 Bertrand
- 8 El Ahmadi
- 15 Westwood
- 16 Delph
- 10 Weimann
- 20 Benteke
- 11 Agbonlahor
Team taken from Aston Villa vs Norwich City (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 2nd March 2014
Barclays Premier League
|10||West Ham United||28||31|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||28||25|
Reading v Aston Villa
Noel Hunt has blasted the performance of the match officials in Reading's 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday.
Brian McDermott has admitted he was disappointed that Reading's fans cheered the substitution of Mikele Leigertwood.
Reading boss Brian McDermott was left disappointed after watching his side slip to a home defeat against Aston Villa.