The Royals will be looking to gain a bit of momentum with a win over Preston as they head into crucial games against Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday.

Team News

The hosts are without a recognised right back for this game, with Marnick Vermijl and Alex Baptiste both out injured.

Tyias Browning and Callum Woods (both knee) will miss out, as will John Welsh, who has an ongoing calf problem.

For the visitors, young midfielder Liam Kelly and centre back Liam Moore both picked up injuries against Newcastle and are doubtful.

Tiago Ilori (ankle), Callum Harriott (hamstring) and Stephen Quinn (knee) remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.

January signing Reece Oxford is also doubtful, but Latvian striker Deniss Rakels could make a return.

Past Meeting

Jaap Stam begun his reign with a 1-0 home win over The Lilywhites in a game much more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

Former Brentford and Chelsea midfielder John Swift scored the only goal on his debut, finishing off a well rehearsed corner drill.

The Royals had close to 80% possession, unheard of in Berkshire, and Stam has continued to build up his philosophy since.

The Verdict

Preston have been solid if not inconsistent of late, but winger Aiden McGeady picked up the Championship Player of the Month award for his performances.

However, an over-reliance on Jordan Hugill for goals could be Preston’s downfall.

Reading come into the game off of a 0-0 draw against Newcastle, which was accompanied by an excellent performance.

Former Manchester United defender Tyler Blackett is in a solid run of form, but Chris Gunter still looks like the weak point, and if targeted by McGeady, Reading could be in trouble.

The Royals are in 5th for a reason, and if they can get an early goal they should go on to win this game.


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Sports journalist and editor. Southend-based Reading FC fan. Can sometimes catch me editing for In Bed With Maradona. Find me on Twitter @HarrySmithRFC