Reading v Leicester, Championship, October 25, 2009
The last time these teams met back in 2006 it was all so different. A 1-all draw back in March 2006 helped confirm the Royals their promotion to the Premier League, and it was Reading who were flying high while the Foxes were left to lick their wounds.
Reading have since come and gone from England’s top flight while Leicester were forced to deal with darker days in League One before eventually returning to English football’s second highest division.
Roles have since been reversed, and on Monday night it will be Leicester who are seeking to maintain their promising early season form as they travel to struggling Reading. The Foxes could reach the play-off positions with a win at the Madejski Stadium, while it’s a different story for Reading, who currently occupy a place in the relegation zone after just two wins all season.
The Royals’ current plight is hugely worrying, as they have not won at home in the league for nine months, a stat under-fire manager Brendan Rogers must alter quickly.
Reading keeper Adam Federici remains the only ever-present so-far this term, the young goalkeeper having firmly established himself as the Royals number one since the departure of Marcus Hahnemann. Protecting Reading’s keeper, on-loan Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand should return for the hosts after sitting out the last match with a head injury. (Reading are 13/8 to keep a clean sheet.)
Left-back Chris Armstrong remains a long-term absentee after knee surgery in the summer while Czech Republic international Marek Matejovsky is in contention for a first start in a month after impressing for the reserves.
Though Leicester have high hopes for the season, they will know that their current away form of one win and three draws in their last six away-days, is simply not good enough.
Paul Gallagher (2/1 to score) is pushing hard for a start up front after the 25-year-old came off the bench to score his first goals for the club with a brace against Crystal Palace midweek. Steve Howard (10/3 to score & Leicester win), rather than Matty Fryatt (5/1 to score first), is the likely man to make way after a blank slate for this season’s goal tally. Elsewhere, full-backs Bruno Berner and Michael Morrison are both in contention for recalls to the side after missing the last match, but manager Nigel Pearson is unlikely to make wholesale changes to his winning team.
101gg predicts: Reading 1 – Leicester 0 (6/1)
Full match odds here.