Aston Villa v Reading preview
Royals aim to end dismal away run
By Steve Pass. Last Updated: 11/01/08 11:08am
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.
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.
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.
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.
Barclays Premier League
|7||West Ham United||22||36|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||22||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||22||19|