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Everton-Reading Preview

By TOM BENNETT

STATS European Football Writer

(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Reading will be searching for their first win of the season when they welcome Everton to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Royals have yet to taste victory in ten games since their return to the Premier League - although they have drawn six - and face Everton, Manchester United and Arsenal in their next three matches at the Madejski. However, manager Brian McDermott told reporters at his pre-match press conference that he is relishing the opportunity of playing in the top flight.

"Somebody said to me it doesn't get any easier because it's Everton next, but for me it doesn't get much better," said McDermott. "If you think about it, Everton come here with a top manager, a top side. These are great times for Reading, and then it's Manchester United and Arsenal at home after that."

"As a club we've had a fantastic ten or eleven years, we want to do the best for our fans in every game, it's a good time to be a Reading supporter."

Visitors Everton go into the Premier League weekend lying fourth in the table after an impressive start to the season, despite lacking the financial resources of many clubs in the division. At the other end of the table, Reading face a long season fighting against the drop, but club captain Jobi McAnuff is looking to Everton's model to inspire the club in the long-term.

"I guess that you can draw similarities," said McAnuff. "They've never been a club that's gone out and spent money on six or seven players - they bring value to the club and so do we. David Moyes has done a great job there and he keeps producing the good as they are still performing well. There's a great continuity to the club, and the few players that are added in the summer seem to integrate in well.

"They've had a fantastic start to this season and they're playing some great stuff. On their current form, they're a side challenging to break into the top four."

Reading have doubts over Jimmy Kebe, Alex McCarthy and Danny Guthrie, but Jem Karacan is out. Everton will hope that Kevin Mirallas, Victor Anichebe, Tony Hibbert and Darron Gibson shake off injury problems, as manager David Moyes is aware this his squad may lack strength in depth.

"I wouldn't say our squad is big enough, but I would say we have got good quality," said Moyes. "I have 15-16 players that I can call on.

"The staying power I'm talking about is different. People will drop out of form a little bit, and do you have other players to bring in or do you have to have players playing through it? Maybe we don't have the luxury to take our best players out of the team. We have to hope they stay in form, stay fit and avoid injuries."

The last meeting between these teams was in the FA Cup in 2011, when Reading won 1-0, and the Royals also won by the same score-line at home the last time the teams met in the league - back in the 2007/08 season. There have been just six league meetings in total between the clubs, with the Royals winning just once and losing four.

Updated November 15, 2012

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