Newcastle are sliding ever closer to the drop zone and are now only 2 points clear of the relegation places.
With Reading currently occupying one of those drop slots but picking up points, this has become a ‘must win’ game for both sides. The Royals are yet to pick up a Premier League away win this season and have notched just 2 points from 11 away fixtures. They’ve lost their last 6 on the road and must be hoping that resurgent home form will be enough to keep them up.
Brian McDermott has strengthened during the transfer window with signings Stephen Kelly, Daniel Carrico and Hope Akpan but Jason Roberts remains sidelined with a hip injury. Despite recent disappointment in the league and an FA Cup exit at Brighton, Newcastle picked up a point at Norwich; only their 4th point in 7 matches. Top scorer Ba has departed for pastures new at Stamford Bridge and is banging them in whilst Coloccini wishes to return to Argentina. The phrase ‘sinking ship’ comes to mind especially considering Remy chose QPR over the Magpies. However, Pardew has managed to bring in defender Debuchy and Cabaye is fit again. Home advantage is going to be very important for both clubs this season and that’s why we’re picking Newcastle to edge it.