READING v WEST HAM UNITED
SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 2011
• West Ham United travel to Reading for their 21st npower Championship fixture of 2011/12 having seen their seven-match unbeaten run ended with last weekend's 2-1 defeat by Burnley. They are the division's form team on the road with seven wins and two draws in their ten matches.
• Sam Allardyce's side sit second in the npower Championship table, two points behind leaders Southampton and three points ahead of third-place Cardiff City. Big Sam was nominated for the npower Championship manager of the month but lost out to Cardiff City's Malky Mackay.
• The Hammers have the best defensive record in the npower Championship, having conceded just 17 goals in 20 league matches.
• West Ham United's 36 league goals have been shared between 14 different players. Carlton Cole leads the way with seven, Kevin Nolan has six while Sam Baldock has five.
• The Hammers have only lost once on their travels this season, a 1-0 defeat at leaders Southampton on 18 October.
• Reading are looking for a fourth win in half-a-dozen matches as they mark Brian McDermott's first year in charge.
• Freddie Piquionne celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday.
• Carlton Cole was shortlisted for the npower Championship player of the month, which was won by Billy Sharp of Doncaster Rovers.
• West Ham are looking for a fifth away victory in a row for the first time since December 1985.
West Ham United
• West Ham United are without Matt Taylor (calf) but the midfielder could be back in contention for next week's visit of Barnsley on 17 December.
• Henri Lansbury is in the matchday 18 after playing an hour in a midweek development squad game against Brentford. Lansbury has not played since 18 October. Gary O'Neil (ankle) played 45 minutes but is at least six weeks away from a playing return after eight months out.
• Dan Potts, fresh from helping the Academy to an FA Youth Cup third-round win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday, is also set to travel with the first team again.
• Sam Baldock (hamstring), Winston Reid (dislocated shoulder), Ruud Boffin (finger) and David Bentley (knee) are definitely out. Baldock and Reid are hopeful of returning before Christmas.
• Pablo Barrera and Jordan Spence are on season-long loans at Real Zaragoza and Bristol City respectively. Ahmed Abdulla (Swindon Town), Cristian Montano (Dagenham & Redbridge), Rob Hall (Oxford United), Herita Ilunga (Doncaster Rovers), Callum McNaughton (AFC Wimbledon) and Frank Nouble (Gillingham) are all out on temporary loans.
• Former Hammers winger Jobi McAnuff is eligible again after suspension.
• Brian McDermott will choose between fit-again Joseph Mills and Ian Harte for the left-back.
• Noel Hunt could be back in the attack after overcoming a thigh injury.
Last time out
Saturday 3 December 2011
West Ham United 1-2 Burnley
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien (Carew 80), Faye, Tomkins, McCartney, Noble, Nolan, Collison, Faubert, Cole, Taylor (Piquionne 56)
Subs not used: Stech, Demel, Diop
Goal: Nolan 52
Saturday 3 December 2011
Blackpool 1-0 Reading
Reading: Federici, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Cummings, Karacan, Leigertwood, Kebe (Antonio 70), Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Church (Manset 70)
Subs not used: Andersen, Griffin, Tabb
Last six meetings
26 December 2007 - West Ham United 1-1 Reading
1 September 2007 - Reading 0-3 West Ham United
1 January 2007: Reading 6-0 West Ham United
1 October 2006: West Ham United 0-1 Reading
12 March 2005: Reading 3-1 West Ham United
10 August 2004: West Ham United 1-0 Reading
All-time record v Reading: W3 D2 L4
West Ham United
2010/11 Premier League 20th (relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th
2008/09 Premier League 9th
2007/08 Premier League 10th
2006/07 Premier League 15th
2005/06 Premier League 9th
2004/05 Championship 6th (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Division One 4th
2002/03 Premier League 18th (relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th
2010/11 Championship 5th
2009/10 Championship 9th
2008/09 Championship 4th
2007/08 Premier League 18th (relegated to Championship)
2006/07 Premier League 8th
2005/06 Championship 1st (promoted to Premier League)
2004/05 Championship 7th
2003/04 Division One 9th
2002/03 Division One 4th
2001/02 Division Two 3rd (promoted to Division 1)
• Saturday's referee will be Lancashire-born Neil Swarbrick, who took charge of the Hammers' 2-0 home win against Barnsley in the FA Cup third round last season.
• Swarbrick usually takes charge of matches in the Football League as a member of the National List, as he has yet to make the step up to the Select Group who control Barclays Premier League matches.
Us and them
• The following players have worn the colours of both West Ham United and Reading during their careers - Tommy Allison, Ken Bainbridge, John Blackwood, Charles Cotton, William Davidson, Steve Death, Tommy Dixon, Jack Fletcher, Jack Flynn, Harry Gunning, Jim Holmes, Sam Jennings, Thomas Kinsell, Herbert Lyon, Jobi McAnuff, Steve Mautone, Trevor Morley, Hayden Mullins, Geordie Reid, James Reid, Horace Ricketts, William Robson, Peter Simpson, Ron Tindall, Ernest Watts, Rod Williams, Alan Wooler and Len Young.
• Jobi McAnuff, the Reading captain, played 14 games for the Hammers in the second half of the 2003/04 season.
• Wally Downes spent five years as a coach at Reading between 2004 and 2009, working under Steve Coppell.
• Reading Academy manager Eamonn Dolan is a former Hammers youth striker, who rose through the ranks to play 15 league games for the first team and scored three goals between 1985 and 1990.
• Alan Pardew has been in charge at both clubs, taking the helm at the Royals in his first managerial role in 1999 and staying there until 2003 when he moved to West Ham.
• The first-ever meeting between West Ham United and Reading took place on Tuesday 11 September 2001 at the Madejski Stadium. The League Cup tie finished goalless after extra time before Reading won 6-5 on penalties.
• The teams have met four times in the league at the Madejski Stadium, with 15 goals scored at an average of 3.75 a match.
• While the last Hammers trip was their best success in Berkshire, a 3-0 victory, they suffered their heaviest loss in the game before that - going down 6-0 on 1 January 2007.
• Last time the Hammers went to the Madejski Stadium they were 3-0 winners on 1 September 2007. The goals were scored by Craig Bellamy in the sixth minute, before Matthew Etherington scored twice in the 49th and 90th minutes.
The lineups were:
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Ingimarsson, Duberry, Shorey, Fae (Kitson 61 ), Harper, Gunnarsson (Cisse 69 ), Hunt, Lita (Convey 75 ), Doyle
Subs not used: Federici, Bikey,
West Ham United: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney, Bowyer (Spector 81), Noble, Mullins, Etherington, Ashton (Cole 65), Bellamy (Boa Morte 89)
Subs not used: Wright, Gabbidon,
• West Ham United welcome Barnsley for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday 17 December, with tickets priced at just £15 for Adults and £5 for Under-16s. Reading will travel to Leeds United on the same day.
• Saturday's weather forecast is for a bright but chilly day, with temperatures peaking around the 5C mark.
• The match is sold out.