Premier League preview: Aston Villa v Reading
By Football News
Aston Villa are keen to build momentum when they welcome fellow strugglers Reading to Villa Park on Tuesday.
Villa held visiting Arsenal to a goalless draw on Saturday but they may well have snatched all three points late on as midfielder Brett Holman was denied by Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
The draw ended Villa's streak of two consecutive defeats, a run that saw Paul Lambert's men ship eight goals, and elevated the club out of the relegation zone on the back of their third clean sheet this season.
Villa defender Matthew Lowton, who has impressed since joining from League One outfit Sheffield United in the summer, called on his team-mates to build on Saturday's performance.
"We've had a tough three fixtures and two defeats coming into this one, it was vital we got a point," Lowton told The Daily Mail.
"The lads defended well and we created some great chances.
"The draw's fantastic and we need to keep the momentum into Tuesday night (against Reading)."
Villa, who beat Reading 2-1 in the teams' previous Premier League meeting in February 2008, will face a team just as desperate to claim maximum points in a game that could shape both their seasons.
Reading slipped into the drop zone following a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat Wigan, with Jordi Gomez completing his hat-trick two minutes into stoppage time.
The promoted side had led 1-0 up until the hour-mark before Gomez turned the game on its head.
Reading's run of just one win in 12 Premier League fixtures sees them in the midst of a relegation scrap, with Brian McDermott's men one point adrift of safety.
Although they have played one game less than Villa and victory on Tuesday could potentially open a five-point buffer ahead of their relegation rivals.
McDermott knows they need to pick themselves up quickly with games coming thick and fast.
"At half time I thought we were going to win, but football is about results," McDermott told Reading's official website.
"We are really, really disappointed but we'll pick ourselves up quickly, we have no other choice."
Villa defender Ron Vlaar picked up a calf injury against Arsenal and will be assessed before the club decides whether he plays, while there are no fresh injury concerns for Reading.