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Premier League preview: Reading v Chelsea

Reading will look to climb out of the English Premier League relegation zone with a rare victory as they entertain Chelsea on Wednesday.

The Berkshire club, 18th on the table with just four wins this season, have not won a league game against the Blues in 83 years.

But Brian McDermott’s side will head into the contest full of confidence having won their past four matches in all competitions.

Reading accounted for Crawley Town in the third round of the FA Cup before beating West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United in the league.

They then capped a stellar start to 2013 with a 4-0 FA Cup rout of Sheffield United to set up a fifth-round clash with Manchester United.

Reading midfielder Mikele Leigertwood, who scored the second goal against Sheffield United, was at a loss to explain his side’s positive reversal in form.

“I don’t know what the secret is,” he said. “We’re not in a great position still, but we have done well of late and given ourselves a good chance to do well.

“We want to win games and have to deal with the pressure. We are confident at the moment and we can’t look too far ahead.”

Reading have just two injury concerns, with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) and forward Jason Roberts (hip) ruled out of the Chelsea clash.

Adam Federici will continue to deputise for McCarthy, while rested striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is expected to start up front.

John Terry started in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Brentford in the FA Cup at the weekend but is likely to return to the bench.

David Luiz (ankle) remains in doubt for third-placed Chelsea, though Fernando Torres should keep his place up front after netting in a lacklustre display at Brentford.

“We came (to Brentford) and didn’t create too much,” Terry told the Chelsea website.

“Fair play to them, they played well but we need to liven up a bit and realise the importance to the fans and the club.”

Tue 29 January, 2013
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