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Preview: Reading vs Newcastle

Preview: Reading vs Newcastle

Preview: Reading vs Newcastle

Newcastle travel to the Madejski Stadium in a game which is crucial for both sides. Neither side goes into this game on great form, although they had mixed fortunes in last weekend's games. Reading sit in 12th while Newcastle are 7 points ahead in 8th, however, Newcastle defeated Tottenham last week while Reading were defeated by Blackburn.

Mark Viduka is out for Newcastle but Alan Smith is back after suspension and Charles N'Zogbia, who had to come off in the last match, as he was feeling unwell, should join him.

Graeme Murty has been ill, but he should be fit to keep his place, and Bobby Convey is back after injury. John Oster and Kalifa Cisse are out though, along with long-term victim Glen Little.

Joey Barton is set to play for Newcastle, and his play from the midfield is likely to define how well Newcastle perform in this game.

Home wins are so important in the battle for relegation survival, and this is an enormous game for Reading.

Coppell's tinkering

Coppell said: "I'm still not adverse to tinkering. I don't think people played well or adapted last week.

"But at the end of the game perhaps I'd not given us the best opportunity to win the match.

"I was disappointed with myself for that, so more than likely we will go 4-4-2 again."

Allardyce ready to start Barton

"I think that Joey Barton has a little bit of everything in his make-up to be a highly competitive midfield player.

"His energy levels are fantastic. He can tackle, he can head a ball, he can pass the ball and he also scores goals.

"He has the lot. Hopefully, if he gets the opportunity to put the Newcastle shirt on from the start, he keeps it."


Reading (from): Hahnemann, Federici, Murty, de la Cruz, Sonko, Duberry, Ingimarsson, Bikey, Shorey, Rosenior, Fae, Harper, Gunnarsson, Hunt, Convey, Kitson, Doyle, Lita, Long, Halls, Golbourne.

Newcastle (from): Given, Beye, Faye, Cacapa, Enrique, Rozehnal, Taylor, Geremi, Butt, Emre, Barton, N'Zogbia, Martins, Owen, Smith, Milner, Ameobi, Harper.

Eyefootball Premiership Prediction

Reading 1-1 Newcastle

The importance of this game cannot be underestimated, Reading looking for home wins and Allardyce keen to get points for a European charge. However, this game has draw written all over it. Barton will nullify the threat of Reading throughout.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Goalscorer: Bobby Convey