Reading vs. Arsenal
Stadium: Madejski Stadium
Date: Monday 17th December Kick-Off: 20:00
Coverage: Sky Sports 1
Previous Meeting: Reading 5 Arsenal 7 (AET, Capital One Cup)
Arsene Wenger and the rest of Arsenal will be looking to put their ‘embarrassing’ Capital One Cup defeat to League Two side Bradford City behind them tonight.
The Gunners have already scored SEVEN at the Madejski this season in a thrilling League Cup match, which resulted in the Gunners winning 5-7 back in October.
A couple of months have now passed and the pressure is building on this ‘depleted’ Arsenal team, who are currently sitting eighth in the table, five points adrift off fourth.
However a win tonight will see the Gunners rise to fifth, two points behind local rivals Tottenham.
Theo Walcott, who was the hat trick hero in that 5-7 win back in October, should be fit enough to make the bench tonight. The winger, who still hasn’t resolved his contract issues, has missed the last two games with a calf injury.
Forward Olivier Giroud is set to lead the line following his back injury. The Frenchman is a key player for Arsenal and it showed when Arsenal missed his presence upfront against Bradford.
My Arsenal XI vs. Reading
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs
The Ox Cazorla Podolski
After the ‘surprising’ cup defeat to Bradford City I am still behind Arsene Wenger and this Arsenal team. Tonight we will pretty much see the same Arsenal line-up from midweek but with a completely different attitude. Our defence will need to be focused tonight. Even though the Royals have conceded 14 goals at home, they have also scored 12. The Gunners have kept only THREE clean sheets away from home this season.
My prediction: Reading 1 Arsenal 3.