Premier League: Reading v Arsenal match preview
A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at the Madjeski Stadium
Arsenal travel to Reading tonight as they aim to recover from the shock penalty shoot-out defeat at League Two Bradford in the Capital One Cup.
The defeat increased the pressure on Gunners manager Arsène Wenger, after just three wins in 11 games since defeating Reading in the league cup. Wenger has urged his player to show their strength of character after the recent criticism.
Brian McDermott's Reading side are hoping to climb off the foot of the table after a poor start has seen their manager installed as favourite in the managerial sack race. Reading have lost their last five league games and recorded just nine points after16 games. They have won one of their last 10 Premier League home games.
Strikers Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak could return for Reading after injury. Roberts is set to make his 450th career league appearance. Jimmy Kebe, Jem Karacan and Sean Morrison remain sidelined.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is back in contention after recovering from a back injury. Laurent Koscielny's thigh problem and Theo Walcott's calf complaint will be assessed. Andre Santos (muscle), Lukasz Fabianski (ankle), and Abou Diaby (thigh) remain out.
KICK-OFF: Monday, 8pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Reading 5 (Roberts, Koscielny OG, Leigertwood, Hunt, Pogrebnyak) Arsenal 7 (Walcott 3, Giroud, Koscielny, Chamakh 2) Capital One Cup, October 2012
Arsenal 2 (Adebayor, Gilberto) Reading 0, Premier League, April 2008
Reading 1 (Shorey) Arsenal 3 (Flamini, Adebayor, Hleb), Premier League, November 2007
Reading have met Arsenal on 10 occasions in all competitions and have lost every one of them.
The Royals have lost their previous five league matches.
Arsenal have conceded the lowest number of second-half goals in the top-flight this season (six) while Reading have let in the joint-highest (20).
Arsenal have scored 26 goals from 16 league games this season; their worst return since 2006/07.
Arsenal have won none of their last six away games in all competitions.
Reading to win: 5.9
Arsenal to win: 1.64
Arsenal's last visit to the Madjeski Stadium was a better league cup memory for the Gunners than their embarrassing exit to Bradford City last week. Wenger's side recovered from 4-0 down against Reading to record an incredible 7-5 victory in extra-time and seal one of the greatest comeback's in the competitions history.
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 tonight at 8pm.
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