Andre Villas-Boas has a number of options as Bale's replacement, with Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson coming on as substitutes at the Stadium of Light. Scott Parker could also be pushing for a first start in midfield, while Villas-Boas may decide to rotate at centre-back yet again after bringing Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker in for Jan Vertonghen and William Gallas last time out. Jason Roberts could be in contention after missing Reading's last five games with a hip injury. Adam Le Fondre will hope to feature after being left on the substitutes' bench against West Ham, although Brian McDermott is likely to continue with just one up front. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is a long-term absentee with a shoulder problem.