Chelsea v Reading preview
Abramovich and Zingarevich meet at Stamford Bridge
Last Updated: August 22, 2012 7:11pm
Roman Abramovich: Has fired eight managers in almost a decade at Stamford Bridge
Reading on Wednesday night make one of the trips they will have been dreaming about having returned to the Premier League as they prepare to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a battle of Russian owners.
Last season's Championship title winners on the first day of the new campaign hosted Stoke City and grabbed a late draw courtesy of Adam Le Fondre's penalty.
But the trip to Chelsea, who on Sunday defeated Wigan Athletic after a dream start to the game, represents one of the most glamorous matches in the top flight.
Roberto Di Matteo's European champions and FA Cup winners have already invested more than £60million in the summer transfer window to take a host of stars to London.
Eden Hazard lit up the victory over Wigan while Brazilian Olympic silver medalist Oscar also made his Premier League debut at the DW Stadium.
Reading boss Brian McDermott has spent nowhere near as much money but has been busy bringing in seven new faces, including the likes of Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Guthrie.
The financial expenditures have therefore been vastly different but the respective clubs do have one thing in common as both recruitment drives have been bankrolled by Russians.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been in control since 2003, spending millions in the process for a return of three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and one Champions League while he has also sacked eight managers.
Reading's Anton Zingarevich has had far less time as owner, with his takeover only confirmed this summer, but in those few months he has shown faith in McDermott, who was expecting to be fired, and has allowed players to be signed.
He will hope for the reward of a major shock at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea look set to be forced into at least one change after David Luiz ruled himself out.
The Brazil defender to Twitter on Tuesday morning to reveal he had picked up a knee injury and would miss Chelsea's first home game of the season.
Gary Cahill would appear to be the logical replacement for Luiz.
Chelsea will still be without Marko Marin as the summer signing's hamstring injury is expected to sideline him until the international break.
Ramires has recovered from the illness which kept him out of Sunday's opening win at Wigan.
Reading midfielder Jem Karacan will miss the game at Chelsea after failing to recover from a leg injury.
Striker Jason Roberts misses out through suspension and Jimmy Kebe is also unavailable due to a hamstring problem.
New goalkeeper Stuart Taylor is available but is unlikely to start.
McDermott is expected to stick with summer signing Pogrebnyak and goal hero Le Fondre in attack.
But they have their work cut out as Chelsea have won six and lost just one of their last nine Premier League home matches.
- Eden Hazard registered the most assists (16) in Ligue 1 in 2011/12 and already has a goal assist to his name for Chelsea
- Only Alan Shearer (56) has scored more penalties in the Premier League than Frank Lampard (38)
- Reading have only won seven of 38 Premier League away games
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 21 McCarthy
- 2 Gunter
- 15 Morrison
- 17 Gorkss
- 27 Kelly
- 12 McCleary
- 4 Karacan
- 20 Guthrie
- 11 McAnuff
- 7 Pogrebnyak
- 19 Robson-Kanu
Team taken from Reading vs West Ham (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 19th May 2013
Barclays Premier League
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|20||West Ham United||0||0|
Chelsea v Reading
Jobi McAnuff feels Reading were 'naïve' in not being happy to take a draw from their clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Brian McDermott says Reading will carry positives from Wednesday night's defeat at Chelsea into their trip to Sunderland at the weekend.
Brian McDermott was left 'gutted' after Fernando Torres' offside goal helped Chelsea beat Reading 4-2 on Wednesday.