Premier League preview: Reading v West Ham
By Football News
Reading have a good opportunity to create some much-needed momentum when West Ham make their way to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
The promoted outfit ended a seven-match losing streak with a goalless draw at home to Swansea on Boxing Day - the club's first clean sheet since returning to England's top flight.
Reading moved off the bottom of the table but still remain in the relegation zone, six points adrift of safety.
However, manager Brian McDermott is confident his team can build on Wednesday's result.
"We were much more resilient, it is important to move on with a point and we can look forward with confidence to West Ham," McDermott said.
"We have got a point and a clean sheet and we are off the bottom of the table."
Reading will do battle with fellow promoted club West Ham, who are in the midst of a three-game winless run.
After stunning Premier League giants Chelsea 3-1 at the start of December, Sam Allardyce and his team have lost to Liverpool and Everton, while playing out a goalless stalemate at West Bromwich Albion.
Last Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Everton, a game they led up until the 64th-minute mark, also saw striker Carlton Cole dismissed for two bookable offences.
West Ham were scheduled to meet Arsenal on Boxing Day but the match was postponed due to proposed travel issues, meaning Cole will serve his suspension on Saturday.
Reading did the double over West Ham in the Championship last season, registering 4-2 and 3-0 victories, while their most recent Premier League encounter in 2007 saw the points shared in a 1-1 draw.
McDermott has no new fresh injury concerns ahead of the match, while Allardyce is expected to welcome back midfielder Yossi Benayoun from a knee injury.