News and Views

Defensive Choices For Adkins As Bolton Visit

05 December 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Bolton are the visitors to the Madejski Stadium this weekend as the Royals try and follow up their shock away victory at Norwich City last weekend. We were all predicting a defeat for Reading at Norwich, but the inclusion of Jake Cooper in defence in place of the suspended Alex Pearce made all the difference for Reading. Cooper had a fantastic game in defence and scored the two vital goals with well taken headers to secure a 2-1 away win. The three points couldn't have come at a better time for Reading when a defeat would have seen us drop to just outside the bottom three.

Alex Pearce will be back from suspension - so it will be very interesting to see how the defence shapes up after Cooper's game at Norwich. You would think, comparing the last performances of Pearce and Cooper side by side that Adkins would stick with Cooper and see what he can do with the reward of an extended run in the side. Pearce should perhaps find himself on the bench but could still make a start if Adkins shuffles the centre back pairing. Injury prone Anton Ferdindand at least makes it a little bit easier for the manager as he is unlikely to be involved due to his latest injury.

The win at Norwich made sure Reading lie three points ahead of Bolton who will also be nervously looking over their shoulder at the relegation positions. Bolton have lost seven games on the road in the league already this season and have picked up just four points from their travels with a win and a draw.

Reading will be hoping to repeat our last result against Bolton. Last season the Royals were 7-1 home winners - thanks to a 21 minute first half hattrick from Adam Le Fondre. Pogrebnyak, Gorkss, Akpan and Blackman were the other scorers on that day fast approaching a year ago. Pogrebnyak is unlikely to be on the score sheet this time as he is expected to be out of action with a calf injury, while Nick Blackman should be on the bench.

Over the past 20 years Reading have played Bolton 11 times with both teams winning five games. The average score over those matches comes out at Reading 2 Bolton 2.

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