07 December 2007

BBC Preview Reading vs LFC

Reading will have to break Liverpool's unbeaten record, if they are to achieve a first ever Premier League victory against one of the so called "big four".
Liverpool have won twice as many league games as the Royals this season (eight to four); Reading have lost nine more (nine to none).
Liverpool did the double over Reading in their first league meetings last season, and have already beaten them this season in the third round of the Carling Cup at the Madejski on 25 September, when Fernando Torres bagged a second-half hat-trick in a 2-4 victory.


Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 12thLowest could fall: 15th
1. Picked up one point from a last available 12, from a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough last time out, and won one of the last six Premier League matches; 2-1, home to Newcastle on 27 October.
2. Completed six matches since their only clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League matches; 1-0, home to Derby on 7 October.
3. Scored one goal in each of the last four league outings, and completed 10 Premier League matches since failing to score; the 0-3 home defeat to West Ham on 1 September.
4. Looking for a hat-trick of home league victories over north-west clubs, having beaten Everton 1-0 on 18 August, and Wigan 2-1 on 22 September.
5. Not scored earlier than the 29th minute, when Dave Kitson opened their account in the 2-1 home victory over Wigan on 22 September.
6. Lost all eight Premier League matches in which their opponents have scored first, and the only club not to have picked up any points from a losing position.
7. The second weakest defence in the highest league; 32 goals shipped, as opposed to Derby's 34. These are the only clubs to have shipped at least 30 Premier League goals.
8. 11 points down year on year; had 25 points after 15 matches last season, when they were in the top six.
9. Relying heavily on their home form so far this season; 13 of 14 points have been picked up at the Madejski.
10. After this and before Christmas, a visit to Birmingham is scheduled and a home clash with Sunderland.


Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 2ndLowest could realistically fall: 5th
1. Won the last five in all competitions, and hoping to add the scalp of Reading to those of Fulham, Newcastle and Bolton gained in their last three Premier League outings.
2. Undefeated in eight league and cup matches, and not lost in 15 Premier League matches; won eight and drawn seven since losing 1-0, away to Fulham on 5 May.
3. One of two remaining unbeaten clubs in the Premier League and one of two still to lose away from home at this level; the other club in both instances is Arsenal.
4. Not conceded in four league games or in 370 minutes (six hours 10 minutes of Premier League football) since the Cesc Fabregas equaliser for Arsenal at Anfield on 28 October.
5. Conceded six Premier League goals this season, at one every 210 minutes (three and a half hours exactly) on average. That's fewer than anyone else, but their nine clean sheets in this league is equalled by Manchester United and Chelsea.
6. The current total of 30 points after 14 games is their best start for five years.
7. Scored seven times in the last 10 minutes of Premier League matches; only Portsmouth can match that.
8. The second best behaved club in the highest league; 17 cards - all yellow. Everton are the only club with fewer; 16 (two red, 14 yellow).
9. The strongest club away from home in the Premier League having accrued 17 points from a possible 21; won five and drawn two on their league travels since losing 0-1 to Fulham in their last away match of last season on 5 May.
10. The two pre-Christmas league fixtures are home to Manchester United and Portsmouth. A visit to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup comes in between, and a trip to Marseille for their final group match in the Champions League precedes them, next Tuesday.

Dave KITSON is Reading's top scorer with five Premier League goals.
KITSON is a one shy of 50 league goals in Reading colours.
Leroy LITA needs to score one to total 50 career league goals (Bristol City and Reading).
Marcus HAHNEMANN is the only remaining player to have been involved in every minute of every one of Reading's Premier League matches this term.
If selected:-
Glen LITTLE will be making his 400th club career appearance (Burnley, Reading and Bolton).
John OSTER will be playing on his 29th birthday.

Fernando TORRES is Liverpool's top scorer with 11 goals, and top Premier League marksman, with six.
Goalkeeper Jose REINA is the only remaining player to have been on the field for every minute of every one of Liverpool's Premier League matches this season.
REINA leads the race for the Barclays Golden Glove, having kept nine clean sheets.
Steven GERRARD is one away from 50 club career goals - all for Liverpool.
If on the field from the outset:-
Peter CROUCH will be making his 50th Premier League start in a Liverpool shirt, although he has not scored a league goal for the Reds since bagging a hat-trick against Arsenal at Anfield on 31 March.

Liverpool have played Reading four times, twice in the Premier League and twice in the League Cup, winning all four matches with an aggregate of 12-6.
The Merseysiders notched four Premier League goals against the Royals last season, and Dick KUYT netted three of them.

Home and awayLeague (inc PL):

Reading 0 wins, Liverpool 2, Draws 0

Prem: Reading 0 wins, Liverpool 2, Draws 0
at Reading onlyLeague (inc PL): Reading 0 wins, Liverpool 1, Draws 0

Prem: Reading 0 wins, Liverpool 1, Draws 0

Reading 1-2 Liverpool 7 April 2007

- Ref: Peter Walton

Reading scorer: Gunnarsson 47

Liverpool scorers: Arbeloa 15, Kuyt 86

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