Though Reading and Villa fans may disagree, it is games like this that proves the strength of the relegation system. In leagues such as the United States’ Major League Soccer (MLS), which feature no relegation, matches between teams at the lower end of the league table are meaningless.
Today’s match could well decide who stays up in the Judi Bola Premier League and who drops to the treacle of the ridiculously named Championship. A win for either team will take it out of the bottom three.
Villa have the worst goal differential in the Premiership at minus 27.
Reading have been in the bottom four since September 2012.
Villa have dropped 18 points from winning positions this season, but Reading have dropped 20.
One of the players in the spotlight today at Reading’s Madjeski Stadium will be Brad Guzan in the Villa goal, as US men’s national team goalie Tim Howard may be kept out of upcoming World Cup qualifying games due to a back injury. Guzan has been playing well this season, despite his team’s lowly position.
The game starts and it appears Villa are going with a 4-3-3 formation against Reading’s 4-4-2 and straight away Guzan has to make a smart save from Le Fondre’s header. Worryingly for Villa supporters Le Fondre was completely unmarked at the far post. The poor defending continues as Villa seem unwilling or unable to defend crosses. Yet suddenly at the other end of the field Benteke hits the bar with a header as he outjumps Reading’s ex-Leeds United star Ian Harte.
Within seconds of that, there’s a very good save by Guzan on the half volley in what promises to be an end-to-end encounter.
14′ Guzan comes a long way …