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Fulham FC v Reading FC: Match Preview

Reading travel to Craven Cottage this afternoon to face Fulham with a back of over 3,000 Reading fans hoping to see their side extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to four matches; Phil Owtram previews the action.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Fulham FC v Reading FC
League Championship
Saturday 17th January, KO 3PM
Craven Cottage Stadium
Referee: Mark Brown

Reading (17th)
Form (all comps): DWWDL
Reading v Middlesbrough: 0-0
Huddersfield v Reading (FA Cup): 0-1
Reading v Norwich: 2-1
Brighton v Reading: 2-2
Reading v Watford: 0-1

Manager: Steve Clarke

Reading extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to four games with a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough at Madejski Stadium last weekend. It was probably a good result for the Royals considering their opponents’ form and lofty league position compared to their own. The star of the show from a Reading point of view was goalkeeper Adam Federici who made crucial saves from Albert Adomah and Patrick Bamford to earn his side a point, preserving his clean sheet in the process. Attention now turns to the game against Fulham at Craven Cottage where a hearty bunch of Reading fans will hope to see their side complete the double over the West London side- having beaten them 3-0 in their match at the Madejski earlier in the season.

Fulham (18th)
Form (all comps): LDLLW
Cardiff v Fulham: 1-0
Fulham v Wolves: 0-0
Fulham v Brighton: 0-2
Bournemouth v Fulham: 2-0
Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday: 4-0

Manager: Kit Symons

Fulham warmed up for this one with a 1-0 away defeat to Cardiff last weekend and then a penalty shoot out win against Wolves in midweek in their FA Cup 3rd round replay following a 3-3 draw after extra time. A win for Fulham this afternoon will see them overtake Reading, who are just above them in 17th.

Last five meetings
13 Sep 2014 Reading v Fulham W 3-0 League Championship
04 May 2013 Fulham v Reading W 2-4 Premier League
27 Oct 2012 Reading v Fulham D 3-3 Premier League
12 Apr 2008 Reading v Fulham L 0-2 Premier League
03 Nov 2007 Fulham v Reading L 3-1 Premier League

Head to Head
This will be the 47th meeting between these two teams in all competitions and it is Fulham that edge the head-to-head record with 17 wins to Reading’s 16 with 13 draws. It was a rather one sided game when the two sides met back in September after an 18th minute red card for Matt Smith meant Reading cruised to a 3-0 victory thanks to a double from the now departed Glenn Murray and Nick Blackman. Reading’s last win at Craven Cottage came at the end of an ultimately unsuccessful 2012/13 Premier League season that ended in relegation for the Royals. A double from Robson-Kanu plus goals from Le Fondre and Karacan were enough to see off a Fulham side that could only muster two goals, both through Bryan Ruiz against already-relegated Reading. That win was just one of three in their last 10 games at Craven Cottage, but also the second in their last three.

Team News
Reading: Garath McCleary is close to a return and could feature after missing Readings last two games with a knee injury picked up in the win over Norwich.

Pavel Pogrebnyak and Jem Karacan are both available for selection after making their comebacks against Middlesbrough last weekend. Hope Akpan will remain sidelined until at least next month, as he continues to recover from his dislocated shoulder. Anton Ferdinand remains on the sidelines.

Fulham: Returning loanees Alex Kacaniklic and Ryan Tunnicliffe are available after spells at FC Copenhagen and Blackburn Rovers respectively. Lasse Vigen Christensen (hamstring) is a doubt, while Tim Hoogland (hernia) and Fernando Amorebieta (knee) will not feature.

Prediction: Fulham 0-2 Reading