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Norwich City v Reading FC: Match Preview

The Royals travel to Carrow Road in search of just their third win in 12 games, Phil Owtram previews this afternoon's action.

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Norwich City v Reading
League Championship
Saturday 29th November 2014, KO 3PM
Carrow Road
Referee: David Webb

Reading (15th)
Form (all comps): LLWLW
Cardiff v Reading: 2-1
Reading v Charlton: 0-1
Reading v Rotherham: 3-0
Blackburn v Reading: 3-1
Reading v Blackpool: 3-0

In a week when manager Nigel Adkins joined Twitter the Royals will be hoping his newfound understanding of tweeting will help give some insight into how to make his side more consistent on the pitch. Adkins takes his side to Carrow Road in search of a win, which would be just their third in 12 games during a poor run of form by the Berkshire side's standards. That poor run was extended at the Cardiff City Stadium last Friday when Reading lost 2-1 on a night which saw Alex Pearce concede a penalty and receive a red card keeping him out of this afternoon's game. There was some positive news this week that Anton Ferdinand is fit enough to be in the squad alongside previously injured Shaun Cummings. This will bolster a defence that has struggled to keep the goals out this season.

Norwich City (10th)
Form (all comps): DLLWD
Norwich v Brighton: 3-3
Nottingham Forest v Norwich: 2-1
Middleborough v Norwich: 4-0
Norwich v Bolton: 2-1
Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich: 0-0

We have found a team that are actually in poorer form over the last five matches than Reading, Norwich come into this one with only one win in their last five games. The Canaries have struggled to find promotion form following relegation from the Premier League last season and come into this one on the back of a dramatic 3-3 with Brighton at Carrow Road last weekend. Substitute Gary Hooper rescued a point for Neil Adams’ side with five minutes remaining ending a run of two defeats which had seen them lose games away to Nottingham Forest and Middleborough.

Last five meetings
20 Apr 2013 Norwich v Reading L 2-1 Premier League
10 Nov 2012 Reading v Norwich D 0-0 Premier League
12 Feb 2011 Norwich v Reading L 2-1 League Championship
13 Nov 2010 Reading v Norwich D 3-3 League Championship
27 Apr 2009 Norwich v Reading W 0-2 League Championship

Head to Head
This will be the 70th meeting between these two sides with Reading only marginally holding the better record with 26 wins to Norwich’s 25 and 18 draws. Their most recent meeting was back in the 2012/13 season when both sides met in the Premier League. That season saw a 0-0 draw at Madejski Stadium followed by a 2-1 win for Norwich against Reading just before they were relegated following a 0-0 draw with QPR the following game.

Team News
Reading: Anton Ferdinand will return to the squad following a groin injury picked up in the 3-0 win over Rotherham. Hope Akpan is out after dislocating his shoulder playing for Nigeria while Danny Guthrie and club captain Jem Karacan continue to battle long-term injuries and won’t be involved. Garath McCleary, who returned against Cardiff last week, is likely to be involved again and so too Shaun Cummings who has recovered from a knee injury picked up in the League Cup match against Scunthorpe in August.

Norwich: Bradley Johnson received a red card in the Canaries' last game against Brighton and will serve a one-game suspension against the Royals. Midfielder Wes Hoolahan and centre-back Ryan Bennett will also miss out through injury while Alex Tettey has been suffering from a groin problem and will be assessed to decide if he is fit to play or not. If he doesn’t make it Gary O’Neil could deputise.

Prediction: Norwich 3-1 Reading