LIVE: Reading FC v Newcastle UnitedBy Jonny Fordham
April 12, 2010
Royals will face the biggest threat to their unbeaten Championship record at Madejski Stadium in 2010 with the visit of table-topping Newcastle United on Tuesday (8pm kick-off).
Reading are in desperate need of a win if they are to keep their own slim prospects of an 11th-hour assault on the top-six alive after securing their Championship status with Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Cardiff City.
Stand-in skipper and talismanic centre-back Matt Mills will be serving the second game of his four game ban and Alex Pearce will replace him at the back alongside former Toon loanee Zurab Khizanishvili.
Royals boss Brian McDermott has no fresh injury worries ahead of the fixture that just two seasons ago was a Premier League affair.
The Magpies Spanish defender Jose Enrique looks set to return to the squad after over-coming a mystery virus, but Tamas Kadar is out. Chris Hughton could also shuffle his pack with Shola Ameobi, Joey Barton and Alan Smith all pushing for starts.
Jonny writes: "This game will be a tough physical test for Reading’s young Championship stars and they were well-beaten at St James’ Park 3-0 earlier this season thanks to an Ameobi hat-trick.
"However, Royals have come a long way since then and have proved they can match any team in this division. I can’t see them winning this one, but I think they’ll come away with a 2-2 draw."
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