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Blackburn v Reading FC: Match Preview

Reading travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn on Saturday afternoon and Phil Owtram provides all the key information ahead of the game.

Chris Brunskill

Blackburn v Reading  
League Championship
Saturday 1st November 2014, KO 3PM
Ewood Park
Referee: Carl Boyeson

Reading (14th)

Form (all comps): WLLLD
Reading v Blackpool: 3-0
Bournemouth v Reading: 3-0
Reading v Derby: 0-3
Brentford v Reading: 3-1
Leeds v Reading: 0-0

Reading ended their run of 7 games without a win when they beat Blackpool 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium last Saturday afternoon. A Glenn Murray header and a penalty from Nick Blackman either side of a Peter Clarke own goal saw the Royals win their first game since the 3-2 victory against Millwall on 16th September. All those connected with Reading were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as they got a much needed result in what was for some a must win game against the leagues bottom club. Despite the quality of the opposition being poor it was a confident performance from Reading who dominated for large parts of the game and faced little threat to their goal. With long term absentees nearing a return to action this will provide a boost to the squad and they will be hoping to build on Saturdays win when they visit Blackburn this weekend.

Blackburn (8th)
Form (all comps): WWDDL
Nottingham Forest v Blackburn: 1-3
Blackburn v Birmingham: 1-0
Ipswich v Blackburn: 1-1
Blackburn v Huddersfield: 0-0
Rotherham v Blackburn: 2-0

Blackburn come into this one unbeaten in four Championship matches and following a confidence boosting 3-1 away win against a Nottingham Forest side that had not been beaten at the City Ground in 6 matches before Saturday’s defeat. Rovers have only been beaten at home once this season and that was a narrow 3-2 defeat to current leaders Derby County so it looks as though it will be a tough task for the Royals to overcome the former Premier League outfit. Top scorer Rudy Gestede has scored 6 goals so far this season including one in the victory over Nottingham Forest and Reading’s defence will face a stiff challenge trying to keep out Gestede and fellow danger man Jordan Rhodes on Saturday afternoon.

Last five meetings
13 May 2007 Blackburn v Reading                          D       3-3      Premier League
20 Oct 2007   Blackburn v Reading                          L        4-2      Premier League
29 Mar 2008  Reading v Blackburn                          D       0-0      Premier League
23 Nov 2013  Blackburn v Reading                          D       0-0      League Championship
22 Feb 2014  Reading v Blackburn                          L        0-1      League Championship

Head to Head
In 13 previous meetings Reading have only won once, a 4-0 win in the old second division in 1986. In their other meetings Blackburn have won 5 times and there have been 7 draws. These teams met twice last season, a 0-0 draw at Ewood Park and a 1-0 win for Blackburn at the Madejski Stadium in February when Craig Conway got the only goal. Blackburn are unbeaten in their last 9 matches against Reading and will be confident they can extend this run to 10 matches against a side 6 places below them in the table.

Team News
Reading: Reading will be without defender Michael Hector for the trip to Lancashire after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Blackpool and will serve a one match suspension. Anton Ferdinand and Danny Williams are nearing full fitness after playing 60 minutes and 45 minutes respectively for the U21s on Monday. Garath McCleary he could return before the international break but not for Saturday’s game while Danny Guthrie’s calf injury has flared up again so will miss out as will Jem Karacan Shaun Cummings and Craig Tanner.

Blackburn: Striker Rudy Gestede is set to be recalled to the Blackburn squad after overcoming a hamstring injury to be available to play against Reading. Full-back Tommy Spurr, midfielder Jason Lowe and striker Chris Brown are all sidelined with injuries.

Prediction: Blackburn 2-1 Reading