Match Odds: Home win: 1/1 Draw: 5/2 Away Win: 16/5
Reading form: WLWWDWLDWW
Wigan form: LLDLDLLLWL
The Royals took a break from their seemingly average league campaign with a win against the odds against high flying Derby County in the FA Cup to progress to the quarter final. Steve Clarke’s men bounced back from a dissapointing 2-0 home defeat against Leeds seven days ago and will be hoping to replicate the form that saw them come out victorious on the weekend. Aside from the defeat last tuesday, the form of the home side has been very respectable indeed. It was their first defeat in four games in all competitions and their first defeat in four at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals will be without Jem Karacan and Anton Ferdinand through injury, but other than that have a healthy squad in which to choose their starting eleven from, including Yakubu who made an instant impression with his new supporters after netting a late winner at the iPro on the weekend.
Wigan’s dismal start to life under Malky Mackay has continued in recent weeks as the Latics now find themselves nine points adrift from safety in 23rd place in the league. They have only won one game in their last seventeen in all competitions which has led to the dramatic fall down the table, ironically their only victory coming against the last side to beat their hosts on the weekend, Leeds United. Wigan have lost seven of their last nine games away from the DW Stadium, only taking three points on one of those nine occasions. Leon Barnett is likely to join Emyr Huws and Grant Holt on the sidelines for the trip to the Royal County. Time is starting to run out for Wigan to carry out one of their characteristic great escapes.
The buzz around the Madejski Stadium will be substantial following the result on Saturday and the subsequent draw against former hero Phil Parkinson’s Bradford City. Wigan will come knowing they need to pick up 3 points, and will believe they may be able to upset the odds having won on their last two visits to the home of the Royals. Reading are likely to have been buoyed by the result on the weekend and will come into the match with a real confidence throughout the side which I believe will see them through. I can see the home side winning, 3-0.