Reading -Vs- Peterborough United - Preview
Peterborough United travel down to Berkshire on Tuesday to face a team level on points with them and one place below them - Reading.
Reading had a come from behind win on Saturday away at Ipswich where they scored two goals in added time to win 3-2.
Posh had another battling display on Saturday and have now recorded impressive back to back 1-1 draws away against Birmingham City and at home against Middlesbrough.
Ian Harte is set to keep his place as Joseph Mills looks set to be ruled out once again with an ankle injury.
Former Rotherham front man Adam Le Fondre could make a return to the starting line up after he helped changed the fortunes of Reading on Saturday when he came on and within 5 minutes, the Royals had scored. They went on to score two further goals (both in added time!) to win 3-2. Simon Church could be the player that drops to the bench.
Mark Little is available for selection ahead of his hernia operation and will be included in the squad. Craig Alcock is expected to retain his place at right back though with Kennedy at left back.
Lee Frecklington has a similar problem to Little and may sit out this game with the impressive youngster Ryan Tunnicliffe coming in.
The question yet again is who will play up front with Sinclair making an impact again when he came on as a substitute on Saturday.
Reading are playing with more spirit than ability at the moment admits Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"Are we playing like we want to play? No, not at this moment in time, but the players have real spirit.
"Did we deserve to win at Ipswich? Who knows? But I do know that the players kept going and showed real quality to get back into the game.
"The win puts us right in mid-table and that bit nearer the play-offs. It`s a significant result psychologically.
"We only picked up three points, but the manner of the win makes it feel like more. We have two more games in quick succession now and go into them in good spirits.
"This group of players just keeps on going and that attitude has delivered us many wins over the last couple of seasons.
"We always fancy we can score late on and that`s a good habit to have." said McDermott.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson said ahead of the match: "Reading are a good side and they will be full of confidence after the win they got at Ipswich. It is another difficult trip for us, but one we are looking forward to."
"They have a lot of pace in the wide areas so whoever plays as fullbacks are in for a hard night but hopefully we`ll be able to cope. But that`s heir real threat, the wide players, the two front players whoever it is. They`ve got Hunt, Church, Le Fondre and the young lad from Hereford, signed from Man City. The front four, we`ve got to make sure we take care of them".
Reading and Posh have met on 45 occasions with honours being even. Reading have won 16 matches, Posh 15 matches and there have been 14 draws!
Posh will want to forget their last visit to the Madejski Stadium as they came away with a 6-0 drubbing.
If there is a goal scored tonight, which I`m sure there will be as Posh have now gone 93 games without a no score draw, it will be the 100th goal between these two teams.
The Royals are currently in 13th place, one place behind Posh. They have 24 points having won 6, drawn 6 and lost 6 of their 18 League games this season.
Their last six matches have yielded 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats while their last six home matches have seen 2 wins, 3 draws and just 1 defeat.
Top League scorers for Reading are:
4 Le Fondre
3 Hunt & Manset
2 Church & Robson-Kanu
Posh are unbeaten in three games now having won one and drawn two games.
They sit one place above Reading in 12th place and on the same number of points (24).
Posh have won 2, drawn 2 and lost 5 of their nine away League matches this season but they recorded an impressive 1-1 draw in their last away match at Birmingham City.
Top League scorers for Posh are:
4 Tomlin, Frecklington and Sinclair
Andy WOOLMER takes charge of this game.
He will be assisted by Andy DAVIES and Mark POTTAGE.
The fourth official will be Paul REES.
Posh have found a determined streak having finished their last 2 games with 1-1 draws against Birmingham City and Middlesbrough.
Fergie in unsure whether he will match up Readings formation to counter their wing threat or stick to his midfield diamond. I suspect he will start off with a similar formation to the one he started against Middlesbrough at the weekend with which makes Posh stronger defensively but stops their offensive threat.
If Posh can keep it tight for the first half and then release their offensive threat in the second half, Posh could come away with all three points.
As with the majority of Posh games this season, there won`t be much between the two side with just a single goal separating them.
The Vital Posh prediction is…
Reading 1 - 2 Peterborough United
There will be a minutes applause prior to the game in memory of the Wales manager Gary Speed who sadly died at the weekend aged just 42.
The Leeds and Newcastle legend was found dead at his home Sunday morning in Cheshire. He was loved by many people in and around the game, while Posh boss Darren Ferguson completed his Pro Licence with him.
Ferguson commented: "It is devastating news and my condolences go to his family and friends at this extremely sad time. He was a great lad, very talented and I am totally shocked by the news.
'I completed my Pro Licence with him and he was a very nice lad." Ferguson commented.
Assistant Manager Kevin Russell said: "I met Gary with Gary McCallister at Leeds United a long time ago and got to know him reasonable well. When I was at Wrexham, I spent a lot of time with him and it is really sad what has happened."
From everyone at Vital Football and Vital Posh, we would like to send our dearest condolences to the family and friends of Gary Speed during this obviously distressing time.
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