As midwinter eyes across Europe turn to England, the injury hit champions begin an important 5 games in 16 against bottom of the table Reading…
‘We know what we are going into. We’ve played them before. We played them in the quarter final of the FA Cup and were beaten late in the game. We just need to go there, perform and do our stuff…we have a great belief in the camp…there are a lot of points to play for…it will turn for us.’
‘I don’t trust this game! When people discuss at this moment that Reading will be relegated because they have less than 10 points now, I don`t believe it. This will be a difficult game. They beat Everton and they played well against United when they lost 4-3. Up front they are strong. I think we need to play the way we did against Newcastle if we want to win this game.’
Manchester City Team News:
LATE FITNESS TEST:
Player to watch: Pablo Zabaleta
Zaba the City warrior will make his 100th Premier League start for The Blues against Reading. Rapidly attaining cult status across Europe, the all too often unsung hero of a City win or a fightback is a man who makes things happen. Once derided for diving into tackles all too readily in his early days in England the articulate jack of all trades has allied savvy to his fearless approach. In the form of his life.
Reading Team News:
LATE FITNESS TEST:
Player to watch: Adam Federici
It might seem a little churlish to select Reading’s goalkeeper here as he just let 5 goals in at home to Arsenal, but make no mistake, but for him it could have been double figures last week. Federici will have a key role to play if as expected City fly at Reading from the off.
Match Facts & Stats
THE NUMBERS GAME:
Reading head north to the home of the champions on a run of 6 consecutive league defeats but have beaten City in 3 of 4 Premier League fixtures.
The Blues last lost 2 successive home league games 4 years ago against the rags and Everton respectively.
Only Stoke with 13 have conceded less goals than City with 15 in the league this season to date.
Reading have the league’s worst away record banking only 2 points from 27 available.
The Royals have been on the receiving end of 306 shots on their goal this season which is more than any side in all 5 of Europe’s elite leagues.
One for Mark Lawrenson. City have won all 13 of the league games that Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tévez have started together.
HEAD TO HEAD:
League: 7 City Wins, 2 Draws, 7 Reading Wins
League Cup: 1 City Wins, 1 Draw
FA Cup: 3 City Wins, 2 Draws
Total: 11 City Wins, 5 Draws, 7 Reading Wins
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Su 13Mar 2011 Man City 1 – 0 Reading FAC
Sa 08Mar 2008 Reading 2 – 0 Man City PL
Sa 24Nov 2007 Man City 2 – 1 Reading PL
Sa 03Feb 2007 Man City 0 – 2 Reading PL
Mo 11Sep 2006 Reading 1 – 0 Man City PL
BETTING: City 1/7 Draw 7 Reading 18 Racing Post Soccerbase
ONE MINUTES SILENCE: Both sides will take part in a minute’s silence on Saturday afternoon as MCFC pays respects to all those connected with the club who have passed away this year.
AWAY TICKETS: Reading have not sold their full allocation and tickets for the away area of The Etihad will be on sale at the stadium on match day.
TV COVERAGE: BBC Match Of The Day
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
Where Were We When We Were Sh*t?: MAN CITY v READING Saturday 3/2/07
Mike Dean from the Wirrall, 4th Official Chris Foy. -Last Season: Mo 15Aug 2011 Man City 4 – 0 Swansea, We 21Dec 2011 Man City 3 – 0 Stoke, Sa 04Feb 2012 Man City 3 – 0 Fulham, We 21Mar 2012 Man City 2 – 1 Chelsea, Su 13May 2012 Man City 3 – 2 QPR -This Season: Su 23Sep 2012 Man City 1 – 1 Arsenal – -2011/12: 43 Games, 146 Yellows, 5 Reds -2012/2013: 17 Games, 63 Yellows, 2 Reds.
Johnny On The Spot:
Time for City to get ruthless. Reading are mired in a terrible run of defeats , rock bottom in confidence and looking increasingly like a side that’s bordering on accepting almost inevitable relegation. What City need to do is put them to the sword. It’s highly likely that Mancio will send his men out with the directive to get the job done quickly at the start of the festive fixture frenzy and see where it takes us. On the bigger picture, opportunity knocks for The Blues to make strong league progress under the radar while the Stretfords and Madrid make all the headlines. City 4 Reading 0
all times East Manchester
We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL
Tu 01Jan 15h00 Stoke, The Etihad, PL
Sa 05Jan 15h00 Watford, The Etihad, FAC
Su 13Jan 16h00 Arsenal, The Emirates, PL
Sa 19Jan 15h00 Fulham, The Etihad, PL
Tu 29Jan 19h45 QPR, Loftus Road, PL