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      MATCH PREVIEW


READING v WEST BROMWICH ALBION
FA Cup 5th round
Saturday 20th February 2016, 3:00pm
Madejski Stadium

MATCH NOTES

The game will be the 40th league and cup meeting between the two clubs. Albion currently lead the way in terms of victories with 18 compared to the Royals' 12. There have been six previous FA Cup games with Albion winning one and Reading three.

Albion's last game on this date took place in 2011 when an injury-time equaliser from the on-loan Carlos Vela grabbed Albion a point from a 1-1 draw with Wolves at The Hawthorns. The club's last win on February 20 came in 2007 when the Baggies beat Cardiff City 1-0 at home in a League Championship clash, Nathan Ellington the goalscorer.

The Baggies' last FA Cup game on February 20 came back in 1960 when they suffered a 2-1 defeat against Leicester City in a 5th round tie at The Hawthorns, Joe Kennedy scoring the Albion goal.

Reading's last game on this date took place in 2010 - the Royals losing 2-0 away at Blackpool in a League Championship fixture.

Albion last lost a FA Cup tie to a team from a lower tier than themselves in 2011 when Reading knocked them out at the 3rd round stage. Since then the Baggies have played seven games against lower league opposition winning four and drawing three.

The Baggies will be attempting to reach the FA Cup quarter finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1967/68 and 1968/69 seasons.

Albion's last six games: Everton (A) 1-0; Peterborough United (A, FAC) 1-1 (4-3 on pens), Newcastle United (A) 0-1; Swansea City (H) 1-1; Peterborough United (H, FAC) 2-2; Aston Villa (H) 0-0.

Reading's last six games: Burnley (H) 0-0; Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) 0-0; Ipswich Town (A) 1-2; Walsall (H, FAC) 4-0; Sheffield Wednesday (H) 1-1; Huddersfield Town (H, FAC) 5-2.

TEAM NEWS

Albion

Albion will be without James Morrison, (hamstring), Callum McManaman (ankle) and Gareth McAuley (thigh) for the trip to the Madejski Stadium.

Reading

George Evans and Yann Kermorgant are both cup-tied for the Royals whilst former Albion loanee Matej Vydra and defender Danny Williams face fitness tests with both suffering hamstring problems.

Recent signing Deniss Rakels could get a first start.

MATCH ODDS

Result

Albion Win: 17/10, Reading Win: 17/10, Draw: 21/10.

First Goalscorer

Albion: Rondon 11/2, Berahino 6/1, Lambert 13/2, Anichebe 13/2, Pritchard 9/1, Sessegnon 9/1, Roberts 9/1, McClean 10/1, Gardner 12/1, Fletcher 14/1, Sandro 16/1, Brunt 20/1, Dawson 20/1, McAuley 25/1, Evans 25/1, Yacob 28/1, Olsson 33/1.

Reading: Rakels 13/2, Vydra 13/2, Barrett 7/1, Piazon 7/1, Cox 7/1, Robson-Kanu 15/2, John 11/1, Williams 12/1, McCleary 12/1, Quinn 12/1, Norwood 14/1, Hector 28/1, Cooper 33/1, Obita 33/1.

No Goalscorer: 13/2.

www.williamhill.com

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
Assistant Referees: Darren Cann (Norfolk) & Scott Ledger (South Yorkshire)
Fourth Official: Roger East (Wiltshire)

Taylor has refereed two Albion games so far this season - the 2-2 draw at Chelsea last month and the 3-2 defeat at home to Leicester City in October.

He refereed three Albion games during 2014/15 - the 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in May, the 2-0 FA Cup quarter final defeat at Aston Villa in March and the 2-0 defeat at home to Everton in September.

The Cheshire official last took charge of a Reading game back in April 2014 - the Royals' 3-1 win at Doncaster Rovers.

Taylor has issued 105 yellow cards and two red in the 30 games he has officiated so far this season.

A full run-down of Taylor's history refereeing the Baggies can be found here

TICKET INFORMATION

Albion have completely sold out of their 4,000 ticket allocation.

WEATHER FORECAST

Light rain, 11C

FIXTURE HISTORY

The first ever meeting of Albion and Reading came at Elm Park in November 1901 in a friendly game that ended in a 1-1 draw. 'Chippy' Simmons scored the Baggies' goal whilst Tom Clinch netted for the hosts from the penalty spot.

The first league meetings between the clubs took place in the Second Division during the 1927/28 season. The first game, in September at Elm Park, ended in a 4-1 victory for Albion, Jimmy Cookson, Arthur Fitton, Tommy Glidden and Charlie Wilson the visitors' scorers. The return game at The Hawthorns in January saw another eight goals scored, this time the game finishing with a 5-3 victory for the Baggies. The aforementioned Cookson scored four of the goals and would go on to become a regular thorn in the side of Reading over the following years, scoring 12 goals in all games against them.

Remarkably the next two league meetings, during the 1928/29 season, saw another 13 goals scored, Albion losing 5-3 at Elm Park before gaining revenge at The Hawthorns with a 5-0 win.

Albion's biggest victory over the Royals is the aforementioned 5-0 win, achieved in March 1929. Cookson (2), Fitton, Jimmy Edwards and Glidden scoring the Baggies' goals.

Reading's best result against Albion, a 6-3 victory, came in a Football League South game at Elm Park in May 1941.

The clubs first met in FA Cup action during the 1947/48 season, Albion winning a third round tie at The Hawthorns 2-0 thanks to goals from Roy Finch and George Drury. The clubs have met five times in the competition since that initial game and the Baggies have failed to win a single game, drawing twice and losing three times.

Albion have failed to win on their last eight visits to Reading, losing five games and drawing three. The Baggies' last win on Reading soil came in January 1995 when goals from Andy Hunt and Kevin Donovan helped an Alan Buckley-led side to a 2-0 victory.

A full fixture history between the two teams can be found here

PREVIOUS FA CUP MEETINGS

2010/11

Saturday 8th January 2011
Reading 1-0 Albion
FA Cup 3rd round
Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 13,605

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Harte, Leigertwood, Mills, Pearce, McAnuff, Karacan, Long (Church), Hunt (Robson-Kanu), Kebe. Goalscorer: Long

Albion: Myhill, Zuiverloon, Cech, Scharner (Olsson), Hurst, Jara, Morrison, Dorrans, Miller (Bednar), Barnes (Thomas), Brunt.

2009/10

Wednesday 24th February 2010
Albion 2-3 Reading (AET)
FA Cup 5th Round Replay
The Hawthorns
Attendance: 13,985

Albion: Carson, Zuiverloon, Mattock, Mulumbu, Tamas, Meite, Dorrans (Morrison), Koren, Bednar (Wood), Cox, Moore (Cech). Goalscorers: Koren 2

Reading: Federici, Griffin, Bertrand, Kebe, Mills (Pearce), Ingimarsson, McAnuff, Sigurdsson, Church (Robson-Kanu), Howard, Tabb (Henry). Goalscorers: Kebe, Howard, Sigurdsson.

Saturday 13th February 2010
Reading 2-2 Albion
FA Cup 5th Round
Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 18,008

Reading: Federici, Griffin, Bertrand, Gunnarsson, Mills, Ingimarsson, McAnuff, Karacan (Tabb), Long, Howard (Church), Kebe (Rasiak). Goalscorers: Kebe, Church.

Albion: Carson, Zuiverloon, Mattock, Jara (Mulumbu), Meite (Tamas), Olsson, Dorrans, Koren, Bednar, Cox, Brunt (Moore). Goalscorers: Koren, Mattock.

2005/06

Tuesday 17th January 2006
Reading 3-2 Albion (AET)
FA Cup 3rd Round Replay
Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 16,737

Reading: Stack, Murty, Makin, Harper, Gunnarsson, Ingimarsson, Hunt, Sidwell, Long (Doyle), Lita (Cox), Oster (Osano). Goalscorers: Lita 3.

Albion: Kirkland, Hodgkiss, Carter, Wallwork (Nicholson), Davies, Albrechtsen, Greening (Dyer), Inamoto (Davies), Ellington, Earnshaw, Chaplow. Goalscorers: Chaplow 2.

Saturday 7th January 2006
Albion 1-1 Reading
FA Cup 3rd Round
The Hawthorns
Attendance: 19,197

Albion: Kirkland, Albrechtsen, Robinson, Wallwork, Davies, Moore, Greening (Gera), Inamoto (Horsfield), Kanu, Ellington (Campbell), Carter. Goalscorer: Gera (pen).

Reading: Stack, Makin, Shorey, Harper, Gunnarsson, Ingimarsson, Hunt (Little), Sidwell, Kitson (Doyle), Long (Lita), Oster. Goalscorer: Doyle (pen).

1947/48

Saturday 10th January 1948
Albion 2-0 Reading
FA Cup 3rd Round
The Hawthorns
Attendance: 30,241

Albion: Sanders, Pemberton, Millard, Williams, Vernon, Ryan, Gordon, Finch, Drury, Evans, Elliott. Goalscorers: Finch, Drury.

Reading: Rickett, Goldberg, Gulliver, Moyse, Ratcliffe, Green, Fisher, Edelston, MacPhee, Dix, Bertschin.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

(Click on game to view)

Saturday 8 January 2011 - Reading 1-0 Albion - FA Cup 3rd Round - Madejski Stadium
Saturday 27 March 2010 - Reading 1-1 Albion - League Championship - Madejski Stadium
Wednesday 24 February 2010 - Albion 2-3 Reading - FA Cup 5th Round Replay - The Hawthorns
Tuesday 17 January 2006 - Reading 3-2 Albion - FA Cup 3rd Round Replay - Madejski Stadium
Friday 26 December 1997 - Reading 2-1 Albion - League Division One - Elm Park
Tuesday 10 September 1996 - Albion 3-2 Reading - League Division One - The Hawthorns
Saturday 7 October 1995 - Albion 2-0 Reading - League Division One - The Hawthorns
Saturday 14 January 1995 - Reading 0-2 Albion - League Division One - Elm Park
Saturday 09 November 1991 - Reading 1-2 Albion - Third Division - Elm Park

LAST MEETING AT THE MADEJSKI STADIUM

Reading 3-2 Albion
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 12th January 2013, 3:00pm

Reading: Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; Carrico (McCleary HT); Kebe, Guthrie, Karacan (Le Fondre 65), McAnuff (c); Pogrebnyak. Subs not used: Taylor (gk), Hunt, S Morrison, Cummings, Akpan.

Goalscorers: Kebe 82, le Fondre 88 (pen), Pogrebnyak 90

Booked: Pogrebnyak 90 (removing shirt)

Albion: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Thorne, Brunt (c); Dorrans (Rosenberg 79), Morrison, Thomas; Lukaku. Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Popov, El Ghanassy, Dawson, Tamas, A Nabi. 

Goalscorers: Lukaku 19 & 69

Booked: Jones 37 (foul)

Attendance: 23,495

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Reading breathed new life into their Barclays Premier League survival bid when two late goals from Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak completed a stunning comeback victory over West Brom. The Baggies had been in cruise control after Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku had put them 2-0 up and hit the woodwork twice. Reading seemed down and out. A return to the bottom of the table, after QPR's draw with Tottenham earlier in the day, seemed inevitable. But Jimmy Kebe grabbed an opportunist goal to set up a tense finish and the Royals snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by completing a dramatic late turnaround. Le Fondre came off the bench to draw Reading level with an 88th minute penalty after Kebe had been fouled by Jonas Olsson before Pogrebnyak bundled in the winner from an Ian Harte free-kick.

Reading had been hoping their 3-1 FA Cup win at Crawley would kick-start their survival bid and they started with new signing Daniel Carrico in central midfield. But for 80 minutes they seemed destined for another Premier League defeat - and a return to the foot of the table as Lukaku and James Morrison led them a merry dance. Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici pulled off a sharp save to deny Morrison, who had been picked out by Jerome Thomas after a dangerous West Brom counter-attack. If that had served as a warning then Reading did not heed it as West Brom cut them open with ease to take the lead. Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season, released Morrison down the left and then received the return ball to beat Federici from six yards out. Reading sought a positive response. Harte released Kebe down the right and he drove in an inviting cross but Pogrebnyak opted not to attack the six-yard box. When Chris Gunter worked some space down the same flank he floated a cross in for Jobi McAnuff but the Reading captain could not generate any power and Foster claimed his soft header. Reading struggled to retain composure and clear their lines as West Brom, with Morrison a constant danger, began to crank up the pressure. When Carrico did released Kebe on the counter-attack, his first touch as he entered the West Brom box was so poor that the covering defender cleared for a throw-in.

Reading were booed off at half-time and fortunate not to go further behind immediately after the restart, when Harte sloppily conceded possession and Lukaku almost doubled his tally. Chris Brunt preserved West Brom's lead with a last-gasp block to deny Garath McLeary after Foster had missed Kebe's cross from the right. West Brom manager Steve Clarke said this week that Lukaku had the ability to "frighten" defenders - and the Belgian was beginning to cause havoc for Reading. Lukaku had one strike chalked off for offside before he hit the post with a glancing header after Morrison's excellent run and cross down the left. West Brom's success down that flank highlighted why Reading this week signed the Republic of Ireland right-back Stephen Kelly, who was watching from the stands. Lukaku then rattled the crossbar with a thundering left-foot strike off the bar before finally hitting the target again, drilling a low shot past Federici. The Baggies had launched a counter-attack from their own box. Morrison fed Lukaku and the teenager cut in from the right, stepped inside Adrian Mariappa and then beat Federici at his near post. There seemed no way back for Reading but with 10 minutes left Kebe snuck in at the back post to meet McCleary's cross and beat Foster with a low header. Reading began to press hard and, with two minutes remaining, Kebe was clattered by Olsson on the edge of the West Brom box. Le Fondre, who blasted a penalty in the FA Cup win against Crawley, this time tucked it away calmly to Foster's left. And an incredible comeback was completed when Harte launched a free-kick into the box, Alex Pearce knocked it down and Pogrebnyak bundled the ball past Foster.

Sporting Life

CURRENT CONNECTIONS

Republic of Ireland international defender Paul McShane spent a season as an Albion player after joining the club as part of the deal that took Polish goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak to Manchester United. After spells at Sunderland and Hull City, McShane joined the Royals on a three year deal in July 2015.

Matěj Vydra spent the 2013/14 season on loan at The Hawthorns from Italian club Udinese. His spell with the Baggies was generally unsuccessful with the Czech Republic striker making just seven Premier League starts for the club. He joined Reading in September 2015 on a season-long loan deal from Watford, whom he had signed for permanently just weeks earlier after earlier loan spells at Vicarage Road.

Simon Cox started his career with the Royals, progressing through their youth set-up to make his first team debut for the club in September 2005. He struggled to make any impact whilst at Reading and in January 2008 he joined Swindon Town for whom he had earlier impressed during a loan spell. Cox became a huge success at the County Ground and after hitting 48 goals in just 88 games for the Robins, Albion made a 1.5million move for the player in July 2009. The Republic of Ireland international scored a number of vital goals as Roberto Di Matteo led the team to promotion but once in the Premier League Cox struggled at the higher-level, eventually leaving for Nottingham Forest in 2012. After two years with Forest, Cox returned to Reading.

Current Reading coach Steven Reid spent over four years at The Hawthorns after joining from Blackburn Rovers in March 2010. Despite suffering a number of injuries during his time with the club, Reid played an important part in helping to establish the Baggies in the Premier League. He left Albion at the end of the 2013/14 season and spent a year with Burnley before announcing his retirement from the game. He was named as Reading's first team coach in June 2015, working under one of his former bosses at The Hawthorns Steve Clarke.

PAST CONNECTIONS

Amongst the players to have turned out at various levels for both clubs are: Chris Baird, Paul Barron, John Chadburn, Neil Clement, Simon Cox, Arthur Crump, Shaun Cummings, Donervon Daniels, Len Darnell, Frank Fletcher, George Forrester, Percy Freeman, Paul Holsgrove, George Irwin, George James, Arthur Kelsey, Harry Kinsell, Jack Lewis, Shane Long, John McIlvenny, Tom Pangborn, Gary Phillips, Graham Potter, Alonzo Poulton, Jimmy Poxton, Brian Quailey, Jason Roberts, Alan Scarrott, Nicky Shorey, Sam Sodje, Phil Whitehead and Jimmy Whitehouse.

Jack Smith managed both clubs whilst former Albion boss Ray Harford spent a short spell coaching at Reading. John Gorman held the role of assistant manager at both clubs.

ALL-TIME LEAGUE & CUP RECORD VS READING

 VENUE P W D  L F A
 Home 19 13 2 4 37 17
 Away 20 5 7 8 33 34
 Total 39 18 9 12 70 51

LAST TEN MATCHES AGAINST READING

 DATE  COMPETITION H/A F-A  GOALSCORERS       GATE
 Sat 12 Jan 2016  Premier League A 2-3  Lukaku 2 - Kebe, Le Fondre (pen), Pogrebnyak      23,495
 Sat 22 Sep 2012  Premier League H 1-0  Lukaku      23,854 
 Sat 08 Jan 2011  FA Cup A 0-1  Long      13,005
 Sat 27 Mar 2010  Championship A 1-1  Tamas - Sigurdsson      20,515
 Wed 24 Feb 2010  FA Cup H 2-3 aet  Koren 2 - Kebe, Howard, Sigurdsson      13,985
 Sat 13 Feb 2010  FA Cup A 2-2  Koren, Mattock - Kebe, Church      18,008
 Sat 17 Oct 2009  Championship H 3-1  Thomas 2, Mulumbu - Mills      20,935
 Tue 17 Jan 2006  FA Cup A 2-3 aet  Chaplow 2 - Lita 3      16,737
 Sat 07 Jan 2006  FA Cup H 1-1  Gera (pen) - Doyle (pen)      19,197
 Sat 01 May 2004  League Division 1 A 0-1  Sidwell      20,619

FA CUP 5TH ROUND FIXTURES

Saturday 20th February

12:45pm - Arsenal v Hull City.

3:00pm - Reading v Albion; Watford v Leeds United.

5:15pm - Bournemouth v Everton.

Sunday 21st February

2:00pm - Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United.

3:00pm - Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace.

4:00pm - Chelsea v Manchester City.

Monday 22nd February

7:45pm - Shrewsbury Town v Manchester United.


 
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