Reading will be bottom on Christmas Day if they do not better QPR’s result on Saturday and that task will not be made any easier by facing the reigning champions Manchester City.
Although Roberto Mancini’s men were defeated in the last minute by Manchester United in their last encounter at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City’s unbeaten home record stretched back to December 2010.
The Etihad remains a fortress and undoubtedly an unlikely place for Reading to pick up their first away win of the season and only their second victory of 2012/13.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Man City 1 (Richards) Reading 0, FA Cup, March 2011
Reading 2 (Long, Kitson) Man City 0, Premier League, March 2008
Man City 2 (Petrov, Ireland) Reading 1 (Harper), Premier League, November 2007
Reading have conceded more goals from crosses than any other side in the Premier League this season (11), three of which came against Arsenal in their previous fixture.
Roberto Mancini’s side have won all 13 of the Premier League matches that Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez have started together.
Reading have averaged just 40% possession in the Premier League this season; the lowest in the division.
The Royals have won three and lost one of the four Premier League meetings between the two sides, but the last fixture saw Manchester City triumph 1-0 in the FA Cup in March 2011.
Man City to win: 1.16
Reading to win: 23
There is nothing of true significance in this fixture, merely an indication of how far both sides have climbed in the last 13 years.
Although Manchester City and Reading occupy berths at different ends of the Premier League table, in March 1999 they were scrapping for a play-off place in the third tier.
Terry Cooke had given City a first half lead before Shaun Goater doubled their lead ten minutes after the break.
Alan Maybury’s dismissal swung the advantage ever greater in City’s favour as Cooke added a brace one minute later before Keith Scott got a consolation for the hosts.
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm on MOTD