Premier League season preview: Reading

Reading
Reading cantered to the Championship title last year, but things won't be so easy in the Premier League. Photo: PA

Reading

Manager: Brian McDermott

Position last season: Promoted as Championship winners

Nickname: The Royals

Ground: Madejski Stadium (capacity: 24,200)

Players in: Garath McCleary (Nottingham Forest, free), Danny Guthrie (Newcastle, free), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham, free), Nicky Shorey (West Brom, free), Pierce Sweeney (Bray Wanderers, undisclosed), Adrian Mariappa (Watford, undisclosed), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed)

Players out: Mathieu Manset (Sion, undisclosed), Andy Griffin, Brian Howard, Tomasz Cywka (all released)

Key man: Pavel Pogrebnyak. The Russian adds international quality to an otherwise modest strike force, and after his goalscoring feats for Fulham last year you wouldn't bet against him finding the net regularly this term. Reading will certainly need him to fire in their bid to avoid relegation.

Chances: McDermott's men finished like a train last season to claim the Championship crown, but the Royals will be set for a tough return to the top flight, which could just prove a step too much.

Pavel Pogrebnyak
Pavel Pogrebnyak joined up with Reading after appearing at Euro 2012 for Russia. Credit: PA