Reading v Pompey preview
This match is well anticipated on the south coast, Reading have had a storming run of late, one that Pompey have matched, 2 form sides meet in a real play-off play-off.
Pompey have sold somewhere in the region of 4,000 tickets for what is a 'local' derby for us on the extremes of the south coast, Reading themselves have been selling hatfuls, the Royals are chasing hard for the play-offs, as it stands they are 3 points better off than Pompey with a game in hand, Leeds have started to wobble a little in the dotted line zone, its now all about who can finish strongest.
Reading Team News:
Reading have no new injury worries after the international break, Liam Lawrence's Republic team mate Shane Long is raring to go after netting 20 goals so far, McAnuff may return after a hamstring tweak, he would love to play against a city that his Grandad grew up in.
Noel hunt has also recovered from an injured foot and should slot back in up front with Long.
The only real worries remain Mills and Leigertwood, both have been absent of late and neither look like making this match.
Player to watch: Long
Obvious choice really, 20 goals this season, 7 in his last 11, since McDermott has replaced Brendan Rodgers his form has taken right off, he has a close bond with the man who brought him from Ireland and is repaying him in bundles.
Pompey Team News:
Pompey have a squad as fit as it has been all season, Lawrence came through the friendly with Uruguay unscathed, even contributing with an assist, its just down to SC to decide how he wants to play it, namesake David has the right berth at the moment, but Joel Ward will be busting to play after being ousted in the last match by the return of Lawrence, he will feature somewhere in the match, just how long is down to the manager.
Player to watch: Kitson
A 'legend' in Reading, still not convinced a few fans at Fratton, but Pompey feel thay have found the key as to what makes him tick now, the goals have started to trickle rather than flow, but since our recent run has started he has certainly contributed more.
Also don't ex-players tend to score against old clubs?
Match Facts & Stats
Generally it finishes 0-0 in Berkshire, Pompey did run out 2-0 winners last time out there though, Campbell and Utaka netting. All in all Pompey have a fair record against Reading, winning 15 and losing 10.
Can this great run continue or does our close season start now? Place your predictions here.
Doomed looking Preston at Fratton