Premier League preview: Reading v Wigan
By Football News
Positive performances in the FA Cup should serve as inspiration for both Wigan and Reading ahead of their relegation six-pointer.
Reading will host Wigan at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday with the chance to move out of the relegation zone on the line.
If Aston Villa lose on the road at Arsenal, a winner from Reading versus Wigan will move above the Birmingham-based club and into 17th spot on the English Premier League table, outside the relegation positions.
Wigan head to Reading on the back of their 4-1 demolition of the Championship's Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup on Sunday and have only lost once in their past five matches in all competitions.
While Reading lost 2-1 away to Manchester United on Monday in the FA Cup, Brian McDermott could be reasonably proud of his players as they finished the game off well, scoring in the 81st minute to ensure a nervous ending for the hosts.
Reading's stamina and ability to score late in games is quite remarkable with McDermott's men having scored after the 75th minute in their past five Premier League matches, picking up 10 points in that period.
Adam Le Fondre (five goals) and Jimmy Kebe (three goals and one assist) have been crucial to Reading's good form and McDermott will be sweating on the latter's fitness after he missed the FA Cup trip to Old Trafford with a knock.
Wigan have also been picking up regular points in recent times and have not suffered consecutive defeats in the Premier League since last year but with just three draws in five games, Roberto Martinez's team have dropped below Reading in the competition's standings.
Martinez could have on-loan Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi available for selection with the 20-year-old Japanese having been out for three months with an ankle injury, while Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) are also expected to have recovered from their injuries in time for the trip to Reading.
Wigan have a disgraceful record at the Madejski Stadium, having gone seven games without a win, including five defeats.
The last time Wigan won at Reading was in October 1999, when they triumphed 2-0 in the third tier of English football.