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Premier League: Reading v Norwich
Apr 19, 2013 3:01 PM GMT
Reading desperately need a win at Norwich on Saturday to give their slim Premier League survival prospects any hope at all.
Nigel Adkins knew he was taking a job with a near impossible task when he replaced the sacked Brian McDermott last month in the Reading hot seat, and he began his tenure with back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and his former club Southampton.
He did, however, claim his first point as Reading boss on Saturday in a 0-0 draw at home against Liverpool to give the players a boost ahead of their trip to Carrow Road.
Reading sit bottom of the Premier League, 10 points from safety, and need to make every post a winner if they are to pull off a miracle and avoid the drop.
The last time they encountered Chris Hughton's side, Reading were held to a 0-0 draw at home in November.
Norwich, meanwhile, are in 14th place - just four points clear of the drop zone themselves, which should add a sense of urgency for both sides in this match.
In their last start, Norwich led 1-0 heading into the final five minutes before Arsenal banged in three late goals to take a 3-1 victory at the Emirates, and Hughton will be keen to shore up his defence for this encounter.
As you would expect from two sides occupying such lowly league positions, both haven't had much to sing about in recent weeks.
Reading have gone eight league games without a victory, while Norwich haven't won in six Premier League matches - although they have three draws in that run.
Adkins has some concerns from the physio room, with goalkeeper Adam Federici still nursing an ankle problem and Jason Roberts ruled out for the rest of the season with a hip injury.
Hughton has some better news coming from his fitness staff, with goalkeeper John Ruddy nearing a comeback from a hip issue, while winger Anthony Pilkington has overcome a hamstring injury and should be available for selection.