Reading v Chelsea
English Premier League
The Madejski Stadium, Reading, England
Wednesday 30 January, 2013
Chelsea will have a chance to close the gap on Manchester City to three points when they travel to Premier League strugglers Reading. Reading will be doing their utmost to upset the odds and climb out of the Premier League’s bottom three.
Reading have lost the exact same number of games at home as Arsenal and Liverpool (3). Their problem has been that they haven’t been able to turn draws into wins with five draws weighing up against just the three victories.
Only Wigan have conceded more goals at home so far this season which means Reading are the underdogs.
Injuries and Suspensions
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is likely to miss the match as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury. Jason Roberts will also play no part in the fixture with a hip problem.
Hal Robson-Kanu is the only other doubt for the match with a knee injury sustained in the recent match against West Brom.
Chelsea head into the game with one of the best away records in the division with seven wins, two draws and just two defeats. Both attack and defence have been solid with 21 goals scored against the eleven conceded.
Chelsea thumped Stoke City 4-0 away from home in their last league away match.
Injuries and Suspensions
John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses remain away at the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria. David Luiz could be on the bench after suffering a sprained ankle.
Oriol Romeu remains out for the rest of the season after the club confirmed he needed knee surgery.
Reading v Chelsea Statistics
Reading would almost certainly want their form to be the other way around with four wins, seven draws and twelve defeats. The main problem for Reading has been keeping clean sheets with a massive total of 43 goals conceded home and away in the league and only 28 scored.
Chelsea have 13 wins which is impressive but still some way short of the 18 wins by league leaders Manchester United. They have also drawn six games which they will see as too high and they have only suffered defeat on four occasions. Chelsea have scored eight in their last three league games.
Head to Head
There have only been nine meetings between these clubs in Reading with Chelsea edging the head to head record with four wins to Reading’s three and two draws.
Chelsea won the last league meeting in the 2007/2008 season 2-1 with Reading’s last win 2-1 in the 1987/1988 League Cup.
Reading have played three league games this January with two wins and a single defeat. They have scored a high number of goals with six and have conceded just as many which suggest the defeats could have gone either way.
Chelsea have been inconsistent in January with two wins, a draw and a defeat which came at home against Queens Park Rangers. They defeated Arsenal 2-1 in their last league game which was preceded by a 2-2 draw against Southampton and the 4-0 win away at Stoke.
Reading v Chelsea Prediction
It’s very difficult to see anything other than a Chelsea win as they have the majority of their squad fit and considering Reading’s defensive problems and inability to turn tight matches in their favour.
Prediction: Reading 0-2 Chelsea