Reading v Man City preview
Royals hoping to climb out of the relegation zone
By Joe Drabble. Last Updated: 07/03/08 11:38am
Elano: Fitness boost
Reading will be aiming to fire themselves out of the drop zone with a much-needed win over stuttering Manchester City at the Madjeski Stadium.
With relegation rivals Bolton, Birmingham, Sunderland and Wigan not in action on Saturday, the Royals have the perfect opportunity to claw themselves out of the bottom three and turn up the pressure on their fellow league strugglers.
Reading's league win at Blackburn last weekend was their first in 10 games, and their first win on the road since their 3-1 success at the Reebok Stadium in April last season.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's men have picked up just one win in their last seven Premier League games and have slipped to eighth after looking well set for a Uefa Cup qualification place at the turn of the year.
City are yet to record a Premier League victory at the Madjeski Stadium with the Royals shading the top-flight meetings between the clubs.
Reading will be without skipper Graeme Murty (knee) and midfielder Emerse Fae (malaria) as they bid to secure back-to back Premier League victories for the first time this season.
Winger Glen Little (heel) and midfielder Brynjar Gunnarsson (groin) remain on
the sidelines but defender Michael Duberry (knee) rejoins the squad.
Frustrated front-man Leroy Lita linked up with Charlton on loan earlier in the week.
Eriksson will be forced into shuffling his pack as the Citizens travel south without the services of a number of key players.
Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov is unavailable as he serves the second of his three-game ban following his red card against Everton at the end of last month.
Micah Richards is set to miss much of the remainder of the season with a knee injury, and he joins Nedum Onuoha (hamstring) and Valerie Bojinov (knee) in the treatment room.
The former England boss is boosted by the news that Elano has been passed fit to play after recovering from a knock suffered during his side's goalless draw with Wigan at the City of Manchester Stadium last weekend.
Barclays Premier League
|10||West Ham United||33||43|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||33||36|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||33||26|