While many had expected Reading to struggle in the Premiership, they have actually acquitted themselves very well. However, on recent form Reading v Fulham is a clash of the bottom two form teams with Fulham hoping to end a very uncomfortable week on a high.
The dismissal of Chris Coleman and introduction of Northern Ireland coach Lawrie Sanchez on a caretaker basis smacks of desperation at this late stage of the season. Will Sanchez rally the troops or will Steve Coppell mastermind a change in form and possible move into a UEFA Cup place for next season?
On the team front, Reading are looking at the possibility of resting midfield star Steve Sidwell who is likely to be leaving the club at the end of the season. They will also be without striker Leroy Lita, who offers a massive presence on the pitch, as he has been suspended for three games after being found guilty of violent conduct.
While Fulham welcome back defender Ian Pearce, they are still without long term casualties Jimmy Bullard, Mark Pembridge and Simon Elliot with many citing their injuries as one of the main reasons for the sudden loss of form and slide towards the relegation zone.
Reading beat Fulham on their home patch in November and are looking to add the Cottagers scalp to a list of “doubles”. Fulham on the other hand have plummeted down the table of late and as history repeats itself, Sanchez is being asked to step in and save the club, just as Chris Coleman was when he took over from Jean Tigana nearly 4 years ago.
Under normal circumstances you would possibly favour Fulham but their squad of would be superstars are not playing as a team, something which cannot be said of Steve Coppell’s Reading squad who seem to play for each other to a man. Both teams still have a lot to play for, but I would expect Reading to shade what may turn out to be a very hard fought game.
Forecast : Home Win