Double Gameweek for Sunderland and Reading

The Premier League has given notice of another double Gameweek to prepare after Sunderland confirmed the date for their rearranged home clash with Reading. Initially scheduled for Gameweek2, the clash was called off due to a waterlogged pitch but has now been rescheduled for Tuesday December 11 – presumably affording both clubs a pair of fixtures in Gameweek16.

Sunderland will now welcome Chelsea and Reading to the Stadium of Light in the Gameweek, while the Royals also have a trip to Southampton on their agenda. Although the Black Cats have been disastrous in front of goal in recent weeks, their backline has impressed at home – just two goals have been conceded in three matches in front of their own fans. Simon Mignolet and Carlos Cuellar are likely to garner extra attention, then, though with United, City and Spurs as three of their following four opponents, Steven Fletcher’s returns could be problematic. Martin O’Neill’s men do face a trip to QPR in Gameweek15 and a trip to Southampton in Gameweek18, perhaps offering hope for Fletcher.

For Reading, without a single clean sheet this season, investment at the back looks a risky option. Brian McDermott’s men have, however, seen an upturn in attacking output since rolling out a 4-4-2; they have scored seven goals in the previous three matches they have used this formation. Jobi McAnuff who has assisted five of his side’s 11 goals, will surely be earmarked by many, while Pavel Pogrebnyak is the only forward to start every game for McDermott’s side so far.

Reading do, however, face United at home in Gameweek15 and then play Arsenal and City in the two Gameweeks immediately after the double, suggesting any over-investment in their assets could be come at a cost.


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