Reading-Swansea City Preview
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Premier League survival will be the underlying aim for both Swansea City and Reading when they meet at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It's far too early in the season to be making relegation predictions, but the Swans' recent run of three games without a goal and without a point has led to concerns that they could slip into trouble later in the campaign. Ahead of Saturday's match manager Michael Laudrup has revealed that he is aware of how important it is to pick up points against potential relegation rivals like Reading.
"I don't know if it's must-win but every time you play a direct rival like Reading you can call it a six-pointer because there's a huge difference between getting three or losing three," said Laudrup. "These are the important games, the others we will always try to do our best but these are the ones we need to get points from. We have to come back and play the way we did in the first three games. We know we can't do it for 38 games but especially at home we must go back to how we played against QPR, West Ham and Sunderland. If we do that I'm confident we will win.
"Of course three games, no goals, no points has to be taken seriously, but you have to keep a balance. If you talk too much about something then sometimes you go on the pitch over-motivated. We know it's an important game, we play a direct rival at home but we are not obsessed. There are 90 minutes in this game we do not have to try and win it in the first five. After three defeats obviously there is less confidence but it is still only the seventh game in the league, it does not finish after this weekend. This is a long road and it's one game on that road."
Reading drew 2-2 with Newcastle United last weekend and are still waiting for their first win of the season, but defender Kaspars Gorkss was pleased with the Royals' performance.
"We're ready to go again for Swansea, I don`t think we'll do anything different - in general, we should be happy with our last two performances but also learn from our mistakes," said Gorkss. "It's great to have Jimmy (Kebe) and Jason (Roberts) back - we have a really competitive squad that will help us this season.
"If we keep this up, I`m sure we`ll win games. There are a couple of things we can improve on as goals were conceded but it`s not bad at all. The last two games were pretty good - much better than against Tottenham and West Brom."
Kemy Agustien (calf) is doubtful for Swansea, while Kyle Bartley (thigh) and Neil Taylor (ankle) are out. Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici continues to struggle with a knee problem.
The last time these two teams met was in the 2011 play-off final, with Swansea winning 4-2, and the Swans haven't met any of their last six league meetings with Reading. This will be the first ever top-flight meeting between the two clubs.
Updated October 4, 2012