–As Reading tackle Derby in FA Cup tie
‘Handful’ Yakubu will be the difference in Reading’s fifth round tie with Derby. Stephen Kelly has backed Yakubu to win the battle of the former Premier League golden oldies against Darren Bent today.
The former Middlesbrough, Portsmouth and Everton striker Yakubu, 32, has returned to English football with Reading and could lead the attack in this FA Cup fifth round tie.
And Steve McClaren’s side possess their own top-notch over-30 striker with invaluable top-flight experience in Bent, who is on loan from Aston Villa.
The front pair have scored 202 Premier League goals between them.
But Royals full-back Kelly believes Yakubu can outshine Bent, 31, to help Steve Clarke’s men into the quarter-finals.
Kelly said: “Yakubu’s been very good. I have played against him a few times before and he’s a handful. A very strong lad.
“He is good at bringing players into play and seems fit and his scoring record speaks for itself.
“It’s like the Premier League with Darren Bent in their team. He is a proven goalscorer too. You don’t play at that level for so long in your career if you are not. He can score goals and will be a formidable opposition.
“He has scored goals wherever he has been, it is only the last couple of season where he has been off the radar, but it is a good coup for Derby to have someone with that level of experience in the team.
“It is a great option for them, but hopefully we get the one who is on fire.”
Yakubu, who signed for Reading on deadline day, will have to shrug off a broken nose – sustained during his 20-minute debut cameo against Leeds on Tuesday night – to figure at the iPro Stadium.
Kelly added: “A welcome back to the Championship, but I am sure he can take it. He is a big boy. If anything it might make him more aggressive going into the next game.”