Reading vs. Arsenal: An important game for teams with different goals

Clive Mason

With West Brom and Everton dropping points, Arsenal have every chance to get out of their current 'crisis'.

Once again, Arsenal are off to a poor start and in danger of missing out on the top four. They're well out of title contention, which their manager has conceded, and they're coming off of an embarrassing cup loss to Bradford City. Tottenham Hotspur are playing well. It's a tough time for the Gunners.

However, they were here last year, and managed to secure third place. They're far from a crisis point, and they probably won't even be there if they go through the holiday period without winning a match. There's a lot of season left to be played. Still, a win over Reading would be a nice way to right the ship.

The Royals are very much in a relegation battle, and it's only getting tougher. Queens Park Rangers are looking competent under Harry Redknapp, while Norwich have rocketed into the top half and don't appear to be part of the relegation contest. Fulham and Newcastle are almost certainly mere visitors near the bottom, Roberto Martinez escapes every year, and Sunderland can't possibly be as horrible as they've played so far. Reading need to start winning matches, and fast.

Reading injuries and suspensions

Out: Jimmy Kebe (groin), Jem Karacan (knee), Sean Morrison (ankle), Alex McCarthy (shoulder). In doubt: Jason Roberts (hip), Pavel Pogrebnyak (knock), Hal Robson-Kanu (fitness).

Arsenal injuries and suspensions

Out: Andre Santos (abdominal), Lukasz Fabianski (ankle). In doubt: Laurent Koscielny (thigh), Theo Walcott (calf), Olivier Giroud (back).

Roberts, Pogrebnyak and Robson-Kanu will all face late fitness tests for Reading. Expect to see Giroud and Koscielny in the team for Arsenal, though the latter seems unlikely to start. Walcott will have his calf injury assessed before the match.

Match date/time: Monday, 8 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET

Venue: Madejski Stadium, Reading, England

TV: Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), ESPN2 (U.S. - English), ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), TSN (Canada)

Online: ESPN3

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.