Coppell keen to stifle six-shooter Berbatov
Reading manager Steve Coppell has challenged his defenders to get it right against Tottenham talisman Dimitar Berbatov on Tuesday - at the third time of asking.
Juande Ramos' side travel to the Madejski Stadium for an FA Cup third-round replay made necessary by the 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane earlier in the month.
Berbatov scored both his side's goals on that occasion to add to the four he had put past the Royals in the Premier League fixture just seven days earlier in a jaw-dropping 6-4 victory for the Londoners.
Coppell said: 'He is a top-quality player. He is graceful and is a lot stronger than he looks in possession - he is difficult to dispossess.
'We have got to do better against him. It is up to the individuals who are marking him to do an effective job.'
The experienced Ivar Ingimarsson is the man most likely to be handed that task as the Royals are short on numbers at the back with Michael Duberry out injured, African duo Ibrahima Sonko and Andre Bikey away on international duty and Alan Bennett ineligible.
Coppell used midfielder Brynjar Gunnarsson as a stop-gap at the back at Aston Villa but may now turn to teenager Alex Pearce following a 3-1 reverse at the weekend.
In any case there will be plenty of changes as Coppell uses cup games to give fringe men run-outs, so goalkeeper Adam Federici, defender Liam Rosenior and strike duo Leroy Lita and Shane Long are all expected to start.
Spurs fielded a strong side in the first game and Republic of Ireland international Long admitted he was also wary of his fellow countryman Robbie Keane.
He said: 'He is a great player. Every time I go off for international duty in training he is amazing.
'I know what he is capable of, he can turn the game in seconds so we will have to be on our toes but hopefully he won't be grabbing the headlines on Tuesday.'
The winners travel to Manchester United in the fourth round and Long was confident his side could produce an upset at Old Trafford provided they disposed of Spurs.
He said: 'Any chance you get of going to Old Trafford you want to take. There would be no better feeling than going there, beating them and knocking them out of the FA Cup. If we can get past Spurs then there is no reason why we can't get past United.'