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Bournemouth v Reading: Match Preview

Reading travel to the South Coast on Tuesday evening to face Bournemouth in a game of crucial importance for Nigel Adkins' men after a disappointing result on Saturday against Derby. Phil Owtram provides a preview of the action.

Charlie Crowhurst

Bournemouth v Reading
League Championship
Tuesday 21st October 2014, KO 7:45PM
Goldsands Stadium
Referee: Mark Haywood

Reading (16th)
Form (all comps): LDDLL
Reading v Derby: 0-3
Brentford v Reading: 3-1
Leeds v Reading: 0-0
Reading v Wolves: 3-3
Derby v Reading (league cup): 2-0

Reading come into this one on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Derby at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. Hapless defending coupled with missing the chances that did come their way sealed Reading’s fate and their sixth game without a win in all competitions. The Royals started the game brightly with some promising opportunities including a Glenn Murray header which hit the bar, but Derby’s quality shone through as Chris Martin stole the show with two well taken goals either side of a classy finish from Liverpool loanee Jordan Ibe. The result saw Reading slip to 16th: their lowest league position since Brendan Rodgers was manager, leaving Reading fans feeling pessimistic about their team's chances of promotion this season. Reading clearly need something to change, especially in defence where inexperience is starting to show and consistency is needed. The young players have had periods where they have shown their potential and that they will make it at this level, but in the Championship there is a need for consistency and it is hard to ask that of players who are still finding their feet in this league. But just as you can feel down and out, football has the power to change in an instant; one good result and positive performance can inject confidence - it just needs a platform to build from. That platform could come when Reading travel to Bournemouth and the Goldsands Stadium on Tuesday night, and Nigel Adkins will certainly be looking for a more solid defensive display.

Bournemouth (8th)
Form (all comps): WWLWW
Bournemouth v Charlton: 1-0
Bolton v Bournemouth: 1-2
Derby v Bournemouth: 2-0
Bournemouth v Wigan: 2-0
Cardiff v Bournemouth: 0-3

Bournemouth ended Charlton’s 12-game unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 win over them at The Goldsands Stadium on Saturday. The Cherries made it four wins in five games, lifting them up to 8th in the table. It was Callum Wilson who got the game's only goal when he met Marc Pugh’s cross to finish past Stephen Henderson with only three minutes on the clock. Although only 3 points in front of Reading going into this one, it's the form which counts for the most with Bournemouth earning 6 points from the last 9 available while Reading have only managed 1.

Last five meetings
05 May 2001 Reading v Bournemouth      D         3-3      League Division 2
25 Sep 2001  Bournemouth v Reading      L         1-0      League Division 2
05 Mar 2002  Reading v Bournemouth      D         2-2      League Division 2
07 Dec 2013  Reading v Bournemouth      L         1-2      League Championship
08 Apr 2014  Bournemouth v Reading       L         3-1      League Championship

Head to Head
This will be the 111th meeting between the two sides and they are pretty even in terms of wins with Reading winning 42 and Bournemouth 43 with 25 ending in a draw. The most recent meeting between the two sides was back in April of this year when Bournemouth ran out 3-1 winners at the Goldsands Stadium. The return fixture also ended in defeat for Reading with the south coast side winning 2-1. Reading have not beaten Bournemouth since the sides met in 2001 in the old second division when the Royals won 2-1.

Team News
Reading: Hope Akpan could return after being rested against Derby following international duty with Nigeria. Danny Guthrie is still struggling with a hamstring injury and will not make the trip south. Jem Karacan is edging closer to a return from injury but will not make this one. Aaron Tshibola has stepped up his recovery but the game comes too soon for Garath McCleary, Anton Ferdinand and Craig Tanner, While Shaun Cummings and Danny Williams are still long-term absentees.

Bournemouth: Eddie Howe could be tempted to name the same starting eleven that beat Charlton on Saturday. Yann Kermorgant will serve his second of a three game ban against the Royals so will not be involved. Tekelo Rantie is closing in on the starting line-up after returning to training following international duty while Elliott Ward is a long-term absentee, but apart from that Eddie Howe has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-0 Reading.