Matthew Desai

Winless Reading face tough Toffees test

madejski stadium readingPremier League strugglers Reading host Everton this weekend, still searching for their first win of the season, says Matthew Desai.

The Royals sit in eighteen place in the table, having failed to win any of their ten league games so far, although, having only tasted defeat in one of their last six, they certainly aren’t seen as the whipping boys just yet.

The Toffees come into the game looking to pick up a second straight win and maintain an unbeaten league record going back to the first day of September, ahead of two home games next week. Only on one occasion have The Blues failed to score this season, but David Moyes’ focus is likely to be more at the other end of the pitch, having witnessed his side keep just two clean sheets so far.

Reading were held to a goalless draw in a tight encounter with Norwich City at the Madejski Stadium last Saturday. The hosts had the better of the chances, with Jobi McAnuff and Jimmy Kebe both coming close in the second half, and will have been disappointed not to have won the game.

Everton scored twice in three minutes to salvage a late win at home to Sunderland last weekend. The Blues fell behind on the stroke of half-time after failing to clear a corner, and allowing Adam Johnson enough space to beat Tim Howard. However, their persistence finally paid off when Marouane Fellaini drove the ball home fifteen minutes from time, before beautifully setting up Nikica Jelavic for his first goal in four games.

Brian McDermott’s side have no new injury concerns ahead of the game, with Alex McCarthy, Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan all still likely to be absent.

Kevin Mirallas will miss the trip to Berkshire with a hamstring injury that saw him withdrawn in last weekend’s victory, while Darron Gibson’s thigh problem also keeps him sidelined.

Reading may not have won a game in the Premier League this season, but having only lost four, it’s also evident they’re not the easiest team to beat. Only Chelsea and Tottenham have beaten The Royals by more than a single goal, so Everton, while rightly feeling confident, will certainly have their work cut out in order to return back to Merseyside with all three points.

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Matthew Desai

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