Tottenham host relegation candidates Reading on New Year's Day, with Andre Villas-Boas looking to hunt down former club Chelsea for third place in the Premier League. Spurs are only two points behind the Stamford Bridge club and are on a good run of form. The Royals have only 13 points from the season so far and Brian McDermott needs a second half miracle to save them from relegation.

Tottenham v Sunderland

Where to Watch

Kick-off is set for 3 pm GMT. Catch highlights on Match of the Day, on BBC One and BBC One HD at 10.25 pm GMT.

Overview

Spurs came from behind to win 2-1 at the Stadium of Light over the weekend, with an own goal from Carlos Cuellar and an Aaron Lennon strike saving AVB an uncomfortable return to London. With that result in mind, the Portuguese tactician will have made it very clear to his players that a far more comfortable win will be expected at home against Reading.

The club's form at the Lane has been reasonable this season but below par for a side expected to challenge for the Champions League, with only five wins from 10 games. That should change on Tuesday though, with Reading having lost eight of 10 games on the road.

AVB brings Real Madrid target Gareth Bale and co off a four game unbeaten run and with the knowledge they have not lost at home since an early November defeat to Wigan.

Reading will come into this game with a lot of confidence, after having held off mid-table West Ham United for a 1-0 win at the Madejski. The win means McDermott keeps a three point buffer between himself and QPR at the bottom of the table and also keeps Southampton (in 18th with 17 points) within touching distance.

The win also means the side have picked up four points from the last couple of games, a welcome run of form. It should perhaps have been five from the last three but an injury time header from England international Gareth Barry denied them a point at the Etihad. In any case, Reading will be pleased at having put an end to a seven game losing streak, stretching back to the 3-2 loss at Wigan.

Manchester City v Reading

Team Form

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W D W L
  • Last Match: Sunderland 1 - 2 Tottenham

Reading

  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W D L L L
  • Last Match: Reading 1 - 0 West Ham United

Team News

The big loss for Spurs will be Bale. The 23 year old Welshman picked up a fifth yellow card, meaning he now serves a one match suspension. Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson is a possible replacement, as is American Clint Dempsey. French defender Younes Kaboul is the only long-term injury Spurs have at the moment. Cameroon left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto is close to making a first team return but needs to build his fitness levels and AVB is unlikely to risk him. The good news, though, is Scott Parker moves closer to a first team start after an Achilles injury. The 32 year old came on late in the weekend match and may just be ready for a start in this one.

Probable Line-Up: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen; Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey; Defoe, Adebayor

Reading may opt to field the same team that started against West Ham, despite the fixture pile-up. Defender Sean Morrison was on the bench against the Hammers but considering he injured his ankle he may not be rushed back into action. Striker Jason Roberts is a doubt with a hip problem and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy remains a long-term absentee.

Probable Line-Up: Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; Karacan, Leigertwood ; Kebe, Guthrie, McAnuff ;Pogrebnyak