Theo Walcott will be out to impress his manager. Image courtesy of footballtransfertavern.com
After being eliminated from the League Cup by League Two club Bradford during the week, Arsenal will be looking to get its season back on track when it faces Reading at the Madejski Stadium in the early hours of Tuesday morning (AEST). The Gunners have failed to fire in their past six matches, with just one win – a 2-0 victory over West Brom in the League last weekend - during that period. With his team seventh on the table and 15 points behind Manchester United, pressure is mounting on manager Arsene Wenger following his side’s poor run of results but he has not been helped by a long list of injuries. Theo Walcott has scored 10 goals from 17 appearances this term to be the clubs leading scorer and could return after two weeks on the sidelines, while Abou Diaby, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny are all doubtful.
The situation that Reading finds itself in is even more dire than that of its opponents. Last week's 3-0 defeat to Sunderland was the Royals fifth in successio, they are second from bottom on the ladder and have just one League victory to their name in the current campaign. Finding the back of the net has been their main problem, having failed to score in three of the past four League matches. Coach Brian McDermott’s troubles up front could abate however with Jimmy Kebe, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Jason Roberts all pushing for selection as they recover from injury.
These sides played out a thrilling League Cup match here in October, with Arsenal overcoming a four goal deficit to run out 7-5 winners at the end of extra time after the scores were locked at 4-4 at the end of 90 minutes. These sides have met in the top flight on four occasions, with the Gunners winning on each occasion. The most recent Premier League clash, on April 19 2008, saw Arsenal win 2-0.
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