SAFC v Reading

Preview: Reading v Sunderland

by Robert Logan

A look ahead to Saturday's trip to the Madejski Stadium.

Sunderland travel to Reading for only the second time in the Barclays Premier League, and will be hoping for a better result than last time, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat in December 2007.

A controversial injury time winner from Stephen Hunt won the game for the home side although replays showed that Craig Gordon managed to scoop the volleyed shot off the line before the ball crossed into the goal.

Ivar Ingimarsson had opened the scoring in the game on 69 minutes before a Michael Chopra penalty briefly levelled the scores.

The Black Cats' three away wins this season have come in the last six away games.

Martin O’Neill’s side saw off the Royals earlier in the current campaign, winning 3-0 thanks to goals from James McClean, Steven Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon.

Brian McDermott’s men sit outside the relegation zone on goal difference with 20 points from 24 games.

The Royals are nine points and six places behind the Black Cats, who consolidated their 11th place with Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw against Swansea City.

New signing Danny Graham is in line for his debut following his £5m transfer deadline day move from Swansea City.

On-loan defender Kader Mangane will also be hoping to make his debut after he was an unused substitute during Tuesday night’s goalless draw against the Swans.

Saturday will be the 19th meeting between the two sides’ times in all competitions with both sides enjoying seven wins apiece. A further four games have ended in draws.

Opta Facts

Adam Le Fondre has scored more substitute goals than any other Premier League player this season (6).

Without Le Fondre’s goals this season Reading would be 10 points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.

Reading have scored six goals from indirect free-kick moves this season, more than any other side.

Reading have thrown away 20 points from leading positions this season - only fellow promoted side Southampton have lost more (22).

If the season had started on Boxing Day, Reading would be in sixth place, one point ahead of Sunderland in ninth.