Premier League: Rock-bottom Reading hoping to pile pressure on Arsenal
Reading will be looking to climb off the foot of the table and pile more pressure on Arsenal at the Madejski on Monday.
Last Updated: 17/12/12 2:43pm
Reading will be looking to climb off the foot of the table and pile more pressure on Arsenal at the Madejski Stadium on Monday.
The Royals hit rock-bottom over the weekend, with Queens Park Rangers' first win of the season allowing them to edge up the Premier League standings.
One win in 16 outings since stepping back up into the top-flight has Reading propping up the division, with Brian McDermott's side yet to get going.
They desperately need to find some form heading into the busy festive period, with a run of five straight defeats in danger of making it a far from merry Christmas for the Royals.
Arsenal could be the ideal opponents for McDermott's men, with the Gunners having also found the going tough of late.
They will, however, be determined to offer a positive response to their Capital One Cup humbling by Bradford, with Arsene Wenger aware that he cannot afford another wobble as pressure mounts on his shoulders.
Arsenal have already scored seven times at the Madejski this season, in a remarkable League Cup clash in October, and with both sides in need of the points, another open encounter would appear to be on the cards.Strike duo Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak could come into contention for Reading.
Strikers Roberts and Pogrebnyak are both doubtful for the game as they nurse knocks, but may play some part.
Jimmy Kebe (groin) and Jem Karacan (knee) have returned to training but will not play, while Sean Morrison (ankle) is still sidelined and Alex McCarthy is out long term.
Arsenal should have striker Olivier Giroud in contention again following a back problem.
Defender Laurent Koscielny has resumed training after his thigh injury, but England winger Theo Walcott (calf) will be assessed.
Full-back Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) continue their rehabilitation.