Madejski Stadium, 9th January 2015, 3pm.
Reading form (All comps) – WWDLLDWLLW
Middlesbrough form (All comps) – WDWLWWDDDW
Match odds – Home Win: 23/10 Draw: 23/10 Away Win: 6/5
Reading won their first ever Premier League fixture 3-2 against Middlesbrough at the Madejski.
Middlesbrough are undefeated in 10 of their last 11 Championship games.
The club have been on somewhat of a upturn in fortune since Steve Clarke took the job as manager. The club followed up an impressive 2-1 victory against Norwich in their last league match with a hard fought 1-0 victory in a scrappy encounter against Huddersfield in the FA Cup third round. The Royals also come into the game with their well documented injury crisis seemingly coming to a bit of an end. Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan should be available following lengthy spells on the sideline, however Garath McCleary aggravated a knee injury against Norwich and will be subject to a late fitness test. Glenn Murray has returned to Crystal Palace following his loan spell so it is more than likely that either Simon Cox or Huddersfield match winner Nick Blackman will play up top.
Aitor Karanka will bring his high flying Middlesbrough side to the Royal county with an incredibly impressive and consistent festive period under their belts. The festive joy has been in full flow throughout Teeside and Boro will fancy their chances of taking three points this weekend. The club sit four points away from the automatic promotion places and are comfortably into the fourth round of the FA Cup and come into the game with only one defeat since October. Adam Clayton will miss this game following his red card in the cup, and Carayol and Damia will miss out through injury. Albert Adomah will be available after he was not included in the Ghana squad for the Cup of Nations.
This will be a game that on paper the away side will come into as most people’s favorites. However, the same could have been said before the Royals last league game against Norwich. Middlesbrough are the form team of the division arguably and are hugely consistent, however Reading have a tendency to pick up a good set of results following the Christmas period. It’s a tough one to call, so my personal prediction for this game will be made from a position sitting firmly on a fence. 1-1 draw.