Sunderland – Reading 11.12.2012
This will clearly be a classic relegation six-pointer with both sides currently in the Premiership relegation zone. Sunderland may be slight favourites here, but they will have to prove that on the pitch if they want to finally record a morale-boosting win.
After Martin O’Neill saved the club from relegation last term, the Black Cats were expected to show a considerable improvement this term, especially after signing two great players in Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson. However, things did not go as planned, and the Black Cats soon found themselves in the danger zone. While it is perfectly clear the team are going through a rough patch at the moment, everybody can see that they have a lot more room for improvement and I certainly expect them to come good any time now. Having been showing a lot of promise of late, Sunderland look more than capable of ending their disappointing run against arguably the weakest team in the league. The Black Cats have looked really good every time they were putting bodies forward and they should have enough in them to win this game.
Match: Sunderland – Reading 20.45h
League: England Premier League
Our prediction: Home Win Odds: 1.95
Despite winning the Championship title last term, Reading desperately needed to reinforce their squad during off season in order to be fully prepared for the step to the Premier League. However, operating on a very tight budget, the Royals could only sign several experienced Premiership footballers, with their thin squad now struggling to cope with the busy schedule. The absence of key players Pogrebnyak, Karacan and Kebe has been felt over the last few weeks, with Reading not only losing last four games, but never really looking like they could avoid defeat in any of those fixtures. After being completely outclassed by relegation rivals Southampton at the weekend in a match where they failed to create a single chance, Reading will struggle to match a side like Sunderland as well.