Burnley look to continue their unbeaten home record at the weekend, as they face Reading at Turf Moor on Saturday.
It will be Reading’s first visit to the Turf since the two teams collided during the play-offs two seasons ago at Turf Moor – with the Clarets winning from the spot, with penalty king Graham Alexander getting the only goal.
However, we did meet in the FA cup at the Madejski Stadium in January – in a game ending 1-0 to the home side, who sneaked the goal late on in an fairly event-less match.
Brian McDermott’s side, placed 11th in the table, have had a fairly satisfactory start to the season but have failed to score a goal in their last three games.
This is not to say, however, that the Royals have been letting in goals – they have only conceded four goals in their last five games, so a fairly tight back four are to be expected.
In the team news, Danny Fox could regain his place in the squad after a thigh injury kept him out of the game against Barnsley, on Tuesday. Debutant Brian Easton impressed in the left-back berth, though and Fox will certainly not walk back in unchallenged.
Clarke Carlisle remains out as he completes his three-match ban, after a particularly harsh decision at Millwall before the international break.
The Royals have no new injury worries, but could welcome midfielder Jay Tabb back into the side after a foot injury has kept him out since August. Brynjar Gunnarsson is still expected to be kept out of the starting XI.
Burnley need to make this fixture count as Reading’s form on the road had been little better than the Clarets’, having only won one fixture away from home – in August against Leicester.
Chris Eagles has been in great form lately and is on schedule to get the ten goals he set out to score at the beginning of the season – and with Iwelumo also regularly scoring, the striking options certainly suggest we could see goals on Saturday.
With the form that the Clarets’ strikers are in means that there will be goals, but the number of clean sheets that Burnley have kept and the lack of goals in the Reading camp means that both teams are overdue to concede and score, respectively.
Prediction: Burnley 4 – 1 Reading
With the home record that Burnley have put under their belts so far this season, it’s hard not to see that Burnley should definitely go into this match aiming to emulate the victory of May two years ago. It should be said that Reading are a good side and the home team will need to be aware, as the opposition will be looking to get their first win in four games.
Andre Bikey will not be looking to recreate the game two years ago, however, playing for Reading – as he got sent off, leading to the hilarious shirt-ripping incident.
With each game apart from the next, the Clarets can simply not afford to lose, or draw this game.