Royals v Blackpool. Early team news

By Angus Muller
Last updated : 20 November 2009

The Royals have not won in front of their own fans at the Madejski Stadium since January - a run of 17 games.

Rodgers will be without striker Shane Long, who is nursing an ankle injury which forced him to miss the Republic of Ireland's World Cup drama in Paris.

That means Simon Church - fresh from scoring his first goal for Wales against Scotland last weekend - will partner Grzegorz Rasiak in attack.

Noel Hunt could be out for the rest of the season after knee surgery and full-backs Chris Armstrong (knee) and Julian Kelly (shoulder) are also sidelined.

Blackpool will be without Algeria midfielder Hameur Bouazza when they make the trip.

Algeria beat fierce rivals Egypt in Wednesday's World Cup qualifying decider in Sudan and their success has sparked celebrations throughout the country.

The Algeria squad have been invited to meet president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, meaning Bouazza will miss this weekend's clash with the Royals.

Seasiders boss Ian Holloway said: "I have said to him to stay there and enjoy the weekend and he will probably be back with us on Monday."

Midfielder Ishmel Demontagnac will serve the final game of a three-match suspension and striker Stephen McPhee and defender Danny Coid remain sidelined through injury.

McPhee (knee) and Coid (hairline fracture of the tibia) remain long-term absentees and are not expected to return in the near future.

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