Tottenham and Reading will both be anxious for a win at the Madejski Stadium to get their..."/> Tottenham and Reading will both be anxious for a win at the Madejski Stadium to get their..."/>

Tottenham at Reading Premier League Match Preview


Tottenham and Reading will both be anxious for a win at the Madejski Stadium to get their season up and running. Reading have one point from two games while Spurs have two points from three games. Neither will want to wait much longer for three points to lift them up the table.


Reading have returned to the Premier League after four seasons absence, finishing second behind Southampton in last season’s Championship. They were relegated after two seasons in the top flight in May, 2008 and in the subsequent years twice reached the play-offs only to lose out on promotion. Last year they had ensured promotion by mid-April with a good run of form in the second half of the season.

Reading started with a 1 – 1 home draw against Stoke City, earning their point from a 90th minute penalty. They then played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge during midweek in a re-arranged fixture. For forty minutes they were leading 2 – 1 having gone a goal behind early on. Reading scored twice midway through the first half but Chelsea scored three goals in the final twenty minutes. That match on 22nd August was Reading’s last League game as their next match at Sunderland had to be postponed at the last minute due to torrential rain making the Stadium of Light pitch waterlogged. They played a Capital One League Cup match, defeating Peterborough 3 – 2 at the Madejski Stadium before the end of August.

Brian McDermott took over as Reading manager when Brendon Rodgers left in December, 2009. It was first as Caretaker but was made permanent shortly after. McDermott took Reading to the play-off final at Wembley in May, 2011 where they lost to Rodgers’ Swansea team.

Former Spurs player, Chris Gunter

Reading have enjoyed Cup success against Premier League teams in recent years, notably winning in a replay at Anfield where Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a penalty in added time to equalise and take the game to extra time.

The Reading team has a nucleus of players who have been at the club for a number of years, the experienced full-back, Ian Harte, defender Alex Pearce, midfielder Jem Karacan, forward Simon Church and goalkeeper Adam Federici. They have strengthened their squad by bringing in players with experience in the Premier League –  defender Nicky Shorey who returned to Reading and Danny Guthrie who signed from Newcastle United during the summer. They also signed former Spurs defender, Chris Gunter and Garath McCleary a winger from Nottingham Forest and striker Pavel Pogrebniak from Fulham.

Their defence lines up as it did last season with the introduction of Gunter at right back. Pearce and Kaspars Gorkss, a Latvian international, form a solid central defensive partnership with Harte at left back. Mikele Leigertwood played a vital role from midfield with a number of important goals in Reading’s run to promotion. Karacan, Gutherie, McCleary and captain Jobi McAnuff have come together in midfield with Pogrebniak as striker. Guthrie and Pobrebniak were the goal scorers against Chelsea. Pobrebniak also scored in the Cup match as did Gunter. McDermott will select a team on similar lines to the opening matches but he will be hoping that the long lay off doesn’t affect his players and he insists that he’s focusing on his team and not worrying about Tottenham.


There is more uncertainty in the Tottenham team as they signed three additional players in the final week of August but they will have had little time to train with their new team due to the international break. One decision has already been taken with Andre Villas-Boas saying that Brad Friedel will retain the goalkeeper’s position, something his performance against Norwich deserved. Mousa Dembele will start in midfield but whether a place will be found in the team for Clint Dempsey is uncertain. The back four is unlikely to be changed but how the Coach sets up his midfield will be interesting. Emmanuel Adebayor could possibly start his first match since returning to Tottenham with Jermain Defoe among the substitutes.

Both managers will be looking for a win but there is greater pressure on Villas-Boas as expectations for Tottenham are so much higher and with a busy schedule in the coming weeks he needs the pressure on him and the team relieved by a win. Both clubs are sitting currently in the bottom five, a draw would keep them there but a win would lift one of the teams into a more respectable and acceptable position.

None of Tottenham’s League matches at Reading have finished as a draw – so will this be the first?

In Tottenham’s last three games at the Madejski Stadium, they have scored three goals, all courtesy of Robbie Keane, so Spurs will be looking for someone to take  on the mantle of goalscorer against Reading.

Reading will be difficult opponents for Tottenham who have won just one of their last 11 Premier League away games, at Bolton in April. Spurs will need to show an application and endeavour in their play that was lacking against Norwich City a fortnight ago and someone needs to take the role of leader in the team especially among the defenders where confidence quickly drains away when under pressure. A more clinical approach in front of goal would also be of benefit as the team have squandered opportunities to capitalise on their superiority in previous matches.

Tottenham to win, if they can put together a good team performance but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were to finish as a draw.

They played for Tottenham and Reading:  Here

Tottenham’s League Record at Reading:  Here

Decision Time for AVB – Tottenham Team for Reading game:  Here

How do you expect the match to finish?