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Chelsea v Reading: LIVE

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22 Aug 2012 20:19:42

Chelsea v Reading: LIVE

Chelsea v Reading

Follow every kick as Chelsea take on Reading at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League
on 22-Aug-2012, kick off time 19:45

Chelsea v Reading: LIVE

Match Preview

Marin out for Blues Chelsea will still be without Marko Marin for Wednesday's Barclays Premier League game against Reading. Summer signing Marin's hamstring injury is expected to sideline him until the international break.

Ramires has recovered from the illness that kept him out of Sunday's opening win at Wigan. Boss Roberto Di Matteo is contemplating making changes and said: "Sometimes, you look at it and think, 'Don't change a winning team', but it doesn't always work this way. "We'll see for Wednesday.

I haven't made our final decision yet. I have to think about it." Two players who may be anticipating that decision more than most are Florent Malouda and Yossi Benayoun, neither of whom have been in Di Matteo's matchday squads this season. Malouda was a target this summer for Brazilian side Santos - who claimed they were put off by his wage demands - while Benayoun spent last season on loan at Arsenal.

Asked about the prospect of either being allowed to leave permanently or on loan, Di Matteo would only say: "We'll have to see until the transfer window closes. "At the moment, they're with us and part of it." Reading midfielder Jem Karacan will miss out after failing to recover from a leg injury. Striker Jason Roberts misses out through suspension, but Jimmy Kebe is in the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.

New goalkeeper Stuart Taylor is available but is unlikely to start. Reading have vowed to throw everything at Chelsea. The Royals marked their return to the Barclays Premier League on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Stoke thanks to a 90th-minute penalty from Adam Le Fondre. Brian McDermott's men face a completely different task tomorrow when they visit Stamford Bridge to take on a revitalised Blues team with an embarrassment of riches.

With the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar bearing down on them, the Royals would be forgiven for playing defensively in the hope of salvaging a draw, but Reading midfielder Mikele Leigertwood insists the underdogs will go on the attack in west London. Last season Swansea's enterprising game saw them take points off Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, and Leigertwood thinks his team should employ the same approach against Roberto Di Matteo's side tomorrow evening. "You can't go in to any games fearing teams or sitting back. You have to attack and put teams under pressure and I'm sure we'll do that," Leigertwood told a press conference. "We have pace in the side and strength up front with Pog (Pavel Pogrebnyak). "We'll play with a high tempo and that will be good for us. "We want to give a good account of ourselves and go there and win hopefully. "We have taken belief from watching teams like Swansea, Norwich and QPR.

They all stayed up and it shows that if you go and attack you can do well in this league." Pogrebnyak, a summer signing from Stuttgart, was tipped to star on Saturday, but it was Leigertwood who took all the plaudits, earning the man of the match award after a typically combative display in midfield. It was a sweet moment for the midfielder as he has previously been relegated from the top flight on two occasions - with Sheffield United and Crystal Palace - both of whom went down on the final day of the season. Leigertwood has not forgotten how disappointing it is to be relegated and he does not want to go through the same experience with Reading this term. "Being relegated is never nice so I am more determined than ever," the 29-year-old said. "I want to go that one step further than I did with Palace and stay up and hopefully finish my career in the Premier League. "It feels good to be back in the Premier League. "Every footballer wants to be playing at the top of their game against the best players in the league so for me it's fantastic." McDermott watched Chelsea move 2-0 up and coast to victory against Wigan on Sunday and he has no doubt how hard it will be to overcome the Blues. "They are the best team in Europe," McDermott said. "I thought they were really, really good on Sunday. "They started off really well. They got a couple of goals early on and could have scored another one when Fernando Torres went through. "But it will be a great challenge for us."

Chelsea V Reading - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.


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