Reading v Crystal Palace

10 Mar

Last year Reading beat Bradford 3-0 to reach their first FA Cup semi-final in 88 years.


Last year Reading beat Bradford 3-0 to reach their first FA Cup semi-final in 88 years.

TEAM NEWS

Reading will have Paul McShane and Hal Robson-Kanu back from injury but their FA Cup top scorer Matej Vydra is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

The Royals will be without cup-tied pair George Evans and Yann Kermorgant.

Jason Puncheon returns for Crystal Palace after six games out with a hamstring injury, while goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is also fit again.

However, Connor Wickham has been ruled out of the next two games and Marouane Chamakh has suffered a knee injury.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Simon Brotherton: “Both clubs will be desperate to get to Wembley to enliven a season in which they’re nowhere near the upper echelons in their respective divisions, but are also nine points clear of the relegation zone.

“Reading’s promotion push didn’t get beyond the autumn but last year’s semi-finalists are at it again in the FA Cup, reaching their fourth quarter-final in the last seven seasons.

“Crystal Palace are on a wretched run in the league and are the only team in the top four divisions without a league win in 2016. Luckily for them, their form in the FA Cup has been much better.

“Both teams will rightly see it as a very winnable tie, with Reading’s good home form – coupled with Palace’s recent poor run – making it a hard one to call.”

Twitter: @SimonBrotherton

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Reading manager Brian McDermott: “It would be fantastic to be able to walk out at Wembley, and that’s what it’s about.

“The FA Cup means an awful lot to this football club – to the fans, the players and the owners.

“We want to put on a really good performance and enjoy the occasion, which is really important, and we’ll see what the outcome is.”

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew on resigning as Reading boss in 2003: “There are no bad feelings on my part. I’ve made sure that we talked about how I left – there were mistakes on both sides. We’ve all moved on.

“The fans were brilliant when I was there, I couldn’t ask any more of them. The reception is in their hands. But for our fans this is a big game – I want to make sure we put on the right show for them.

“The pitch is not going to help. It is not as good as it should be. It will be a really difficult surface for both teams.”

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew managed Reading for four years between 1999-2003.<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Crystal Palace have progressed on all three occasions they’ve met Reading in the FA Cup – in 1930-31 (after two replays), 1931-32 and 1952-53 (after a replay).
  • The last five league meetings between these sides in Reading have produced 24 goals.
  • Palace have only won one of their last 11 league meetings with Reading (D6, L4).

Reading

  • The Royals are into the last eight of the FA Cup for the sixth time in their history, and the fourth time since 2010. They made the semi-finals last season, losing to Arsenal after extra-time.
  • Reading have already beaten Premier League opposition in the FA Cup this season, knocking out West Brom 3-1 in the last round.
  • The defeat by Huddersfield on Tuesday ended their six-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W3, D3).
  • The Royals are unbeaten in all nine of their home games in all competitions in 2016 (W5, D4).
  • They haven’t lost at home in the FA Cup since 2012, winning their last five in a row.

Crystal Palace

  • Crystal Palace’s only victories in 2016 have come in the FA Cup; they’ve knocked out three Premier League sides in a row – Southampton, Stoke and Tottenham.
  • They have gone 12 games without a victory in the Premier League.
  • The Eagles have reached their first FA Cup quarter-final since 1995 – that year they beat Wolves in a replay before losing out to Manchester United in the semi-final.
  • Palace have won five of their last six away games in the FA Cup, including each of the last four.
  • This is only the second time in 16 seasons that Alan Pardew has made the sixth round in his managerial career. His sides have been knocked out by lower-league teams on seven occasions.

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