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After a long break from Premier League, Reading welcomed Tottenham Hotspurs by fielding their best XI, who impressed in the loss at Stamford Bridge, apart from first choice goalkeeper Federici, who is replaced by debutant Alex McCarthy. Guthrie played behind Pogrebnyak and the 4-5-1 had to be at their best to contain Tottenham’s wingers Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, especially Chris Gunter and Ian Harte are not the best defending full backs.
Still in search for their first win, Andre Villas-Boas dropped Jake Livermore and the injured Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Dembele, who …

As the opening weekend approaches I assess  potential relegation candidates, from the three newly-promoted teams, to a couple of the less obvious ones.
Fulham:
It May seem to some as daft to suggest that the top half club with one of the most proven managers in the league could be contenders for the drop – but it’s far from daft.
Their three highest scorers last season were Clint Dempsey (23), Andy Johnson (11), and Bobby Zamora (9). Two have already left and it seems likely that Clint Dempsey will move on too. …

With the fixtures out and a little under a month until the new Football League season gets under way, fans up and down the country will be cursing the fixtures computer for giving  their team a Tuesday night in November trip to Torquay, Blackpool or Bournemouth, when you were hoping for a seaside bank holiday weekend with the lads. Maybe the local derby you’ve been looking forward to is the same day as a family members wedding – there are no doubt many people to whom that would be a …

Ask any Reading fan if they can believe what has happened to their team in the last seven months and overwhelmingly the answer will be “no chance”.
To put this into perspective, Reading traveled to Doncaster on September 17 on the back of 5 straight losses and needed to win to avoid going bottom of the championship, they got 3 points and started a run of 39 games that yielded 86 points and secured promotion by April 17  with 2 games to spare – an astonishing turnaround and one of the great runs …

As Simon Church gleefully flicked Ian Harte’s tempting, viciously bending free kick into the West Ham net, the Madejski stadium erupted in delirious, uncontrollable joy. This carefully controlled header made it 3-0 to Reading with a few minutes left on the clock, and put paid to any faint hopes West Ham might have had of mounting an improbable comeback.
The first half had been a tight and tense affair, with both defences well-marshalled by experienced players; Abdoulaye Faye controlling matters at the back for the Hammers, and Kaspars Gorkss doing the …

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OF THE WEEKEND
Leicester City v Reading – Saturday 13th August 2011 – 3.00 kick-off

Last time the sides met
Reading 3-1 Leicester City (Saturday 16th April 2011)
Kebe (19),        King (79)
McAnuff (21),
Hunt (67)

The Lowdown
Two of the Championship’s promotion candidates go head-to-head on Saturday as Leicester entertain Reading at the King Power Stadium. Both teams
enter the game on a high as the Foxes were forced to show grit and determination to win 1-0 against Coventry. Whilst the Royals snatched a point from the jaws of defeat at home to …

To see Shane Long start the 2011/12 Championship season in a Reading shirt on Saturday came as a welcome surprise to most Royals fans. The Republic of Ireland international looked set to move on following the play-off final defeat to Swansea at Wembley in May, but fast forward three months and Long is still with Brian McDermott’s side.
Although according to reports from over the weekend Long appears destined for a transfer to West Bromwich Albion over the next few days, the striker clearly has feelings for the Berkshire side. He …

Last season, Shane Long scored 21 league goals for Reading, three goals in domestic cup competitions and a further two on the international stage, taking his overall tally to 26. It should not come as any great surprise then that he has already been the subject of repeated overtures from Liverpool, Everton and Celtic, with the former apparently willing to offer as much as £15 million for the signature of the talented Irishman. While many would see this as a wildly exorbitant price to pay for a player as yet …

Reading were worthy winners in this week’s second Championship semi-final second leg against Cardiff City, beating the Welsh side 3-0.
Having ended goalless at the Madejski Stadium only four days before, the match in the Welsh capital promised to be an equally tight affair, especially as the two league games had ended in stalemates as well.
However, the second leg could hardly have been more of a contrast, as Reading totally dominated the Bluebirds to seal a date at Wembley on 30th May against Swansea City.
Despite the absence of star striker Craig …

Matt Mills was the hero for Reading as he scored the winner and blocked off the line to secure three points for Reading in a tight and exciting contest.
Leicester were certainly hoping that their 2-1 Carling cup victory over Leeds in the week would kick-start their season. Still aiming for their first league win and even first home goal of the season, Leicester faced a Reading side who were also looking to pick up their first three points.
Leicester had an opportunity within 2 minutes. Lloyd Dyer centered the ball for …