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Premier League preview: Tottenham v Reading
Created on 30 Dec., 2012 3:29 PM GMT
High-flying Tottenham will be confident of extending their unbeaten run to five games when they host Reading on Tuesday.
Spurs extended made it four games without defeat courtesy of a hard-fought 2-1 win over a resilient Sunderland side on Saturday, with an own-goal by Carlos Cuellar and an Aaron Lennon strike three minutes later cancelling out a rare John O'Shea goal in the first half.
The win did come at a price however, with Gareth Bale picking up his fifth yellow card of the season for simulation, meaning the livewire Welshman will miss the clash with the Royals.
Andre Villas-Boas, who now now has the best win record (62.5 percent) of any Tottenham manager since 1908, will still be confident his side can get all three points against lowly Reading despite the loss of Bale, with Gylfi Sigurdsson, Reading's player of the year in 2009/10, a ready-made replacement.
The visitors meanwhile will head into the clash at White Hart Lane full of confidence after they picked up their second win of the season, defeating West Ham 1-0 on Saturday thanks to an early Pavel Pogrebnyak goal.
Brian McDermott's side have endured a tough start to life back in the Premier League but are now undefeated in two matches and a result at Tottenham would boost chances of survival as the second half of the season begins.
By the same token, Tottenham, who themselves are dreaming of a return to the Champions League, cannot afford to drop points against the likes of Reading as they look to cement their place in the top four in a congested top-half of the Premier League table.
The depth of Villas-Boas' squad and Reading's notoriously leaky defence, which has conceded 37 goals to date this season, make it hard to picture anything other than a Tottenham victory, and a comfortable one at that.