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Villa Park (ATT 32,288) 12th January 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: Uriah Rennie

A Villa Aston Villa vs Reading Reading

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Aston Villa v Reading preview

Royals aim to end dismal away run

By Steve Pass.   Last Updated: 11/01/08 11:08am

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Gunnarsson: Back from suspension

Gunnarsson: Back from suspension

The statistics suggest that Aston Villa will beat Reading in the Premier League on Saturday - and there will be lots of goals.

Predicted Score: Aston Villa 2 Reading 1 SKY BET ODDS: Aston Villa 8/13 Draw 12/5 Reading 4/1 Bet on Saturday's match

The Royals have yet to win a competitive game on their travels this season, although they do find the net regularly.

Steve Coppell's men have scored in their last nine away games, in a run going back to 25th August when Bolton beat them 3-0 at the Reebok Stadium.

In that run, they have scored on 17 occasions, but have conceded a massive 28 goals, with a net result of just three draws and six defeats.

Build

They will be looking to build on their latest away draw - an entertaining 2-2 encounter at Spurs in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

New signing Marek Matejovsky, a Czech Republic international midfielder, will not take part in the game as Coppell does not think he is ready to play yet as he adjusts to life in England.

The Royals will also be without African Cup of Nations trio Ibrahima Sonko, Emerse Fae and Andre Bikey, while Michael Duberry is only rated as 50/50 as he has a knee problem.

Duberry could be replaced by Brynjar Gunnarsson, who is back from suspension, while Kalifa Cisse and Alex Pearce may also come into the equation.

Persistent

Influential midfielder Stephen Hunt should also play, despite Sunderland's persistent pursuit of the Irishman.

For Villa, Martin O'Neill has no new injury worries as he looks for his side to bounce back from their 2-0 home reverse to Manchester United in the FA Cup last Saturday.

Striker John Carew had been a doubt for that game with a knee injury, but started and came through unscathed before being substituted in the second-half.

O'Neill will want his side to improve on their current home form, which has seen only two victories and one draw from their last six games.

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 35 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 33 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 34 29

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