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Preview: Derby County v Reading FC (FA Cup)

Two games in three days for Reading starts with the Royals first travelling to the iPro to play Derby in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Derby County FC v Reading FC
FA Cup
Saturday 14th February, KO 3PM
iPro Stadium
Referee: Craig Pawson

Reading (14th)
Form (all comps): LWWDW
Reading v Leeds: 0-2
Wolves v Reading: 1-2
Reading v Sheffield Wednesday: 2-0
Millwall v Reading: 0-0
Cardiff v Reading (FA Cup): 1-2

Manager: Steve Clarke

After an emphatic 2-1 away win against Wolves on Saturday Reading returned to their inconsistent ways against Leeds on Tuesday night when they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat. It was a sobering result just as optimism was beginning to return amongst the Reading faithful. However, with the Royals still in the FA Cup and a quarter-final place up for grabs today’s game gives fans something to get their teeth into and be positive about, something that has not been forthcoming so far this season. Reading then return to league action when they host second from bottom Wigan on Tuesday evening in a game they will (be) expect to win.

Derby (3rd)
Form (all comps): DWWWW
Bournemouth v Derby: 2-2
Derby v Bolton: 4-1
Cardiff v Derby: 0-2
Derby v Blackburn: 2-0
Derby v Chesterfield (FA Cup): 2-0

Manager: Steve McClaren

Derby’s march towards the bright lights of the Premier League continues and Steve McClaren’s side come into this one unbeaten in 5 and with 8 wins in their last 10 games, only losing once. It has been a thoroughly successful season for The Rams so far and they will be quietly confident of avenging their play-off heartbreak from last season by going up automatically this year. It is however credit to the Championship that Derby sit in 3rd despite their emphatic form and they have a tough job on their hands securing one of the two automatic places ahead of Middlesbrough, Bournemouth, Ipswich and Watford, with 1st and 5th separated by just 6 points.

Last five meetings between Reading & Derby

18 Oct 2014 Reading v Derby County L 0-3 League Championship
23 Sep 2014 Derby County v Reading L 2-0 Capital One Cup
15 Mar 2014 Reading v Derby County D 0-0 League Championship
21 Sep 2013 Derby County v Reading W 1-3 League Championship
14 Feb 2012 Derby County v Reading W 0-1 League Championship

Reading & Derby Head to Head

This will be the 37th meeting between these two sides, Reading have won 20 of the previous encounters, Derby 10, with 6 draws. The game at Madejski Stadium earlier in the season saw Derby put 3 past Reading without reply. Reading have not beaten The Rams in 3 meetings with their last win coming in September 2013, when they recorded a 3-1 win at the iPro.

Team News

Reading: Danny Guthrie is available again after injury and Yakubu will hope to be involved after making his debut against Leeds in midweek despite picking up a broken nose. Jem Karacan, Chris Gunter and Anton Ferdinand are all still out.

Derby: Chris Martin will not feature after picking up an injury against Bournemouth in midweek, Darren Bent is likely to stand in for him. Midfielder George Thorn is set to make a return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while Johnny Russell (hamstring), John Eustace (knee) and new signing Raul Albentosa (back) are all ruled out. On-loan winger Tom Ince is cup-tied having appeared for Hull City in the previous round.

Prediction: Derby 2- 1 Reading