Premier League: Newcastle v Reading match preview

A
look ahead to this Saturday’s Premier League match at St James’ Park

In August, few could have thought this match would be played against the backdrop of relegation, so impressive were Newcastle last season. But injuries have taken their toll, robbing Alan Pardew of the creativity and pizazz of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.

Demba Ba’s goals kept the ship above water through to the New Year, but then Chelsea came calling. Loic Remy was lined up as Ba’s replacement, only for QPR to intervene. Newcastle’s defensive flaws have also been compounded by captain Fabricio Coloccini asking to leave – although the club hopes to persuade him to stay until at least the summer.

As a result of these problems, Newcastle have recorded one win in seven league games and are sliding down the table at an alarming rate. They halted their losing run with a goalless draw at Norwich last weekend, but now they face a resurgent Reading side that has taken seven points of the last 12 on offer.

Reading’s remarkable 3-2 win against West Brom last time out, having been 2-0 down with 10 minutes remaining, will have come as a huge psychological boost – and they are now a mere three points behind Wigan and Aston Villa.

Brian McDermott is without Alex McCarthy and Jason Roberts, but Mikele Leigertwood may return. New signing Stephen Kelly could make his debut. For Newcastle, centre back Stephen Taylor could return after missing 11 games with a hamstring injury, and Shola Ameobi returns from suspension.

 

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

 

PAST THREE MEETINGS...

Reading 2 (Kebe, Hunt) Newcastle 2 (Ba 2), Premier League, September 2012

Reading 1 (Simpson OG) Newcastle 2 (Nolan 2), Championship, April 2010

Newcastle 3 (Ameobi 3) Reading 0, Championship, August 2009

 

STATS…

Out of seven league meetings between the teams, Newcastle have won four and Reading two.

These teams’ last two meetings at St James’ Park finished 3-0 to Newcastle.

Newcastle have drawn only one home league game this season – 1-1 against Aston Villa in September – and have won five and lost five of the remainder.

Reading have dropped the most league points from winning positions this season – 20.

Reading have scored eight away goals in the league this season – only West Ham (five) and Stoke (seven) have scored fewer.

 

ODDS…

Newcastle to win: 1.8

Reading to win: 5.1

Draw: 4.0

 

TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm.

News
University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
media
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz