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.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices