Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kick Off: 19:55 (BST)
Crystal Palace’s winless run in the Premier League extended to 12 matches following the soul crushing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool on Sunday and the Eagles have every right to feel aggrieved at the manner of the defeat.
Football is a cruel sport though where there is no sympathy whatsoever and Palace cannot spend too much time feeling sorry for themselves.
Palace suffered a devastating loss against Liverpool
It is looking next to impossible for Palace to earn a victory in the league at the moment but they are most certainly on a roll in the FA Cup and the Eagles prepare for arguably the biggest game of their season when they square off against Reading at the Madejski Stadium to contest the FA Cup quarter final on Friday.
On paper, Palace may be considered favourites to claim a victory but given their poor form, earning progression even against a mid table Championship side is anything but a foregone conclusion.
Crystal Palace FC Team News
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the goalkeeping situation at Crystal Palace and it will be interesting to see which custodian Pardew elects to go with on Friday. Wayne Hennessey should start if he returns to full fitness but if the Welshman misses, Julian Speroni could well get the nod ahead of the error prone Alex McCarthy.
In defence, Damien Delaney will be looking to get over the disappointment against Liverpool to start alongside Scott Dann while the full back positions will be occupied by Pape Souare and Joel Ward. The hero against Tottenham in the previous round, Martin Kelly will also be hopeful of making an appearance though.
Jedinak to lead Palace out once again
With James McArthur and Jason Puncheon still ruled out, Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak will be starting at the middle of the park and Yohan Cabaye is expected to shrug off a knock to take his place in an attacking midfield role.
Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha are set to be deployed on the wings once again while Emmanuel Adebayor will lead the line for the Eagles if Connor Wickham remains ruled out with injury.
Reading FC vs Crystal Palace FC Probable Lineups
Reading FC: Al Habsi; Gunter, Ferdinand, Cooper, Obita; Hector, Norwood; John, Quinn, McCleary; Kermorgant
Crystal Palace FC: Speroni; Souare, Dann, Delaney, Ward; Cabaye, Jedinak; Bolasie, Ledley, Zaha; Adebayor
Reading FC vs Crystal Palace FC Head to Head
21/04/2012 Reading 2 – 2 Crystal Palace
29/10/2011 Crystal Palace 0 – 0 Reading
Reading FC vs Crystal Palace FC Match Prediction
Despite being the Premier League side, Crystal Palace do not necessarily head into the clash as favourites. Even discounting their recent terrible run of form, Palace have failed to beat Reading in their last six meetings and it was way back in December 2009 when the Eagles managed to claim a victory over the Royals.
A lot has admittedly changed since but Reading are in fine form heading into Friday’s encounter having lost only once in their last seven matches in all competitions and the emphatic victory over West Bromwich Albion in the previous round of the FA Cup would surely have filled Brian McDermott’s men with a lot of confidence.
The match on Friday is expected to be a tight affair and it is very difficult to predict who will come out on top on the night. Palace certainly possess the stronger side though and if the likes of Cabaye, Adebayor, Bolasie and Zaha are on song, the Eagles should have enough about them to be able to claim a narrow victory.