His name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue outside of his native Russia but Reading striker Pavel Viktorovich Pogrebnyak could represent the biggest danger to a first league win for Tottenham this weekend.
The 28 year old Russian international hasn’t always been the most prolific centre forward but he seems to have taken to life in the Premiership while setting a new league record at the same time.
Pogrebnyak started his professional career with Spartak Moscow back in 2002 but impressed more while on loan at various clubs before he moved to Tom Tomsk in 2005. There he first hit the striker’s preferred ratio of a goal every other game and that brought him to the attention of Zenit St Petersburg.
At Zenit he made a bright start but faded towards the end of his career and at Stuttgart is was a similar story.
On joining Fulham last year however, he scored five goals in his first three games – a league record for a player making a start in the Premiership but once again, even in that short stay, he seemed to disappear after a bright start.
Although he may not be a twenty – twenty-five goal a season striker, he’s still in that ‘honeymoon’ period at Reading – a time when he seems to excel at every club. Ultimately, this is another game that Spurs should win but Pogrebnyak is the one to watch and at 8/1 with William Hill to score the first goal, it’s tempting – particularly in a perfect scenario where we come back to take the points.