Reading V Nottingham Forest - Match Preview

Last updated : 15 August 2003 By Rob Cooper
Pardew's side will be hoping to chalk up three vital points tomorrow afternoon at they embark on their bid for promotion to the Premiership.

Nottingham Forest, as they proved last season, are a top Division One side who will once more be challenging for honours. Three points is vital for both teams as they look to demonstrate their promotion credentials to the rest of the division.

A crowd of around 19,000 is expected at the Madejski for what is sure to be a cracking game.

Reading have just one injury worry going into tomorrow's game. Influential defender Graeme Murty may be forced to sit the game out due to a minor stomach injury. The 28-year-old right-back missed the mid-week match against Boston. Should he again fail to prove his fitness his place in the side is likely to be taken by utility player Ricky Newman.

Elsewhere, Reading are likely to be unchanged, despite the availability of Nathan Tyson. Tyson has not featured in the opening two games of the season as he has been serving the remaining two games of a three match ban handed out for his dismissal against Wolves in the Play-Offs.

New signings Scott Murray and Shaun Goater should again take up their places in the side, although Omar Daley signed this week on a year-long loan, is unavailable as his work permit application is yet to be processed.

Meanwhile, Forest could be without highly-rated young defender Michael Dawson. The 20-year-old has been suffering glandular fever and may not be deemed fit to play.

David Johnson and Marlon Harewood will once more combine up front, the duo are one of the division's deadliest strike partnerships. In midfield, Manchester United midfielder Michael Stewart should play. The young Scot, at Forest on a seasons loan, was dismissed during the club's midweek Carling Cup clash with Port Vale.

Eoin Jess, Matthieu Louis-Jean and Brynjar Gunnarsson have all been suffering from injuries and will face late fitness tests to determine whether they can play.

Probable Reading Line-Up: (4-4-2) Hahnemann; Newman, Williams (Captain), Brown, Shorey; Murray Sidwell, Harper, Hughes; Forster, Goater

Reading MAD Predict…

A thrilling 3-1 victory for Reading, with goals from Harper, Goater and Hughes