Premier League - Matchpack: Sunderland v Reading

Team news, manager quotes, facts and figures ahead of the Premier League clash between Sunderland and Reading at the Stadium of Light.

Premier League - Matchpack: Sunderland v Reading

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Reading's Ian Harte


Updated details including a new date and time to follow in due course.

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Steven Fletcher could make his Sunderland debut in the Barclays Premier League game against Reading after his switch from Wolves was completed. The 25-year-old striker joined from Wolves for an undisclosed fee and could start in the Black Cats` first home game of the season. Wes Brown (knee ligaments), Phil Bardsley (ankle) and David Vaughan (ankle) are still recovering from injuries and will miss out.

Reading boss Brian McDermott has no fresh injury doubts ahead of his side's trip to the Stadium of Light. Jem Karacan is still working his way back from a broken ankle while Jimmy Kebe (hamstring) will not be available until after the international break. McDermott does welcome striker Jason Roberts back from suspension but a calf problem, coupled with a lack of match fitness, means the 34-year-old is unlikely to be involved from the start.


Martin O'Neill: "I think Steven will be terrific for us. He's underrated, but not by me. I think he's capable of scoring goals and linking play which is very important to us and I think now at 25 years of age he's got room to improve and really get better. Wolves lost their Premier League status last season but I think he's very good and I think he's improving. I'm delighted to have him for the next few seasons."

Brian McDermott:  "I don't think you can turn around and ever say you can settle for a draw in this league, or any league. And that is to say, what is settling for a draw? Does that mean you get as many people as you can behind the ball? I don't think that necessarily works, you can get a draw by putting another striker on and putting more pressure on the ball. But generally if it is 2-2 or 1-1, wherever we are playing, we are trying to win. There is a big difference between three points and one point."


Sunderland have won none of their last nine Premier League games (W0 D6 L3).

The Black Cats made the most tackles in the opening round of games this season (28).

Martin O’Neill saw his side pick up 22 points from his first 10 games in charge, but they have pocketed just 13 in their last 15 Premier League outings.

Sunderland have failed to score in six of their last eight Premier League matches.

The only teams to win at the Stadium of Light in the Premier League since Martin O’Neill arrived at Sunderland are Arsenal and Manchester United.

Only West Ham (45) earned more points away from home than Reading (42) in the 2011-12 Championship.

Adam Le Fondre has scored six goals in his last seven league games for Reading, three of them have been 90th minute strikes.

Sunderland fired in fewer shots than any other team on the opening weekend of the Premier League (3, excl. blocked).

Pavel Pogrebnyak has scored seven goals from only nine shots on target in his Premier League career so far.

Reading scored the highest percentage of headed goals in the 2011-12 Championship (30%) while Sunderland conceded the highest percentage in the Premier League (28%).


Sunderland 17/20, Reading 10/3, Draw 5/2

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