Reading V Swansea at Madejski Stadium : Match Preview

24 December 2012 02:01
Reading V Swansea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Laudrup may rotate squad

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup may shuffle his pack for the Boxing Day meeting with Reading.

The Dane hopes to have winger Pablo Hernandez available after a thigh injury, but Angel Rangel is set to miss out again with a calf problem.

Ki Sung-yueng could come back into the side after Kemy Agustien was handed a starting role against Manchester United on Sunday.

Swansea may be fresh from a confidence-boosting draw with United, but Laudrup has told his players the Boxing Day trip to Reading is a game of even greater magnitude.

Swansea maintained their impressive record against the Barclays Premier League's big guns as they secured a 1-1 draw, Michu's 13th league goal of the season cancelling out Patrice Evra's opener at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea had previously taken points off Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle this term and sit 11th in the table having amassed 24 points from 18 games.

But with Premier League survival the main priority, Laudrup knows the trip to face bottom club Reading, who have suffered seven straight defeats, is arguably more important in terms of ensuring Swansea remain a top-flight club.

He said: "The result against United was a great result for the club, the players, the staff and the supporters.

"We can enjoy it for 24 hours or so but from Tuesday we have to start thinking about Reading as it is even more important. It is a key game.

"It is our last game in the first half of the season, and if we win that it would be fantastic.

"In fact for us to turn around with 27 points would be excellent."

Veteran Reading striker Jason Roberts (hip) is again missing.

The 34-year-old has missed the Royals' last three games but is close to regaining fitness.

Defender Sean Morrison (ankle) is still sidelined and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) is out long term but Reading have no fresh injuries from the weekend loss at Manchester City.

Manager Brian McDermott believes the spirit of the players and fans can drag his struggling team out of trouble.

The Royals remain rooted to the bottom of the table as the season approaches its mid-point after losing their last seven matches.

But after going down 5-2 to Arsenal last week, McDermott's men at least responded strongly with a creditable performance at Manchester City on Saturday.

Reading were just moments away from a much-needed and morale-boosting point when Gareth Barry headed an injury-time winner for the champions at the Etihad Stadium.

McDermott now wants to build some momentum from that display and has called on the supporters to play their part against Swansea.

McDermott, who is under pressure despite his acclaimed role in last season's promotion, said: "In the last three games we haven't really performed the way I know we can.

"But against Arsenal we were three and four down and we fought back.

"You could see the spirit in the group and you certainly saw the spirit in the group on Saturday.

"You respond by trying to win the next two games. We have got Swansea at home and West Ham at home.

"We need our fans massively to be with us. They took so much credit from last year, dragging us over the line. We need them to be with us again."

Source: PA

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