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Bolton Wanderers v Reading FC: Match Preview

Reading are on the road again searching for a Tuesday night win that has eluded them in their four most recent attempts. Phil Owtram previews the Royals' trip to Bolton.

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Bolton FC v Reading FC
League Championship
Tuesday 3rd February, KO 8PM
Macron Stadium
Referee: Mark Haywood

Reading (18th)
Form (all comps): LLWLW
Reading v Nottingham Forest: 0-3
Huddersfield v Reading: 3-0
Ipswich v Reading: 0-1
Reading v Wigan: 0-1
Derby v Reading (FA Cup): 1-2

Manager: Steve Clarke

Reading slipped to back-to-back defeats as they conceded 3 goals at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon. A wonder strike from Ben Osborne and a 30-yard effort from Gary Gardner either side of a Matty Fryatt goal were enough to make sure Reading ended February without scoring a goal at home. The result was also their third home defeat on the trot and leaves Reading fans longing for next Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Bradford to give them something to get excited for. Before that they travel to the Macron Stadium to face 17th placed Bolton on Tuesday night - a team they failed to beat when the teams met at Madejski Stadium in December.

Bolton (17th)
Form (all comps): WLLLW
Bolton v Brighton: 1-0
Middlesbrough v Bolton: 1-0
Nottingham Forest v Bolton: 4-1
Bolton v Watford: 3-4
Bolton v Fulham: 3-1

Manager: Neil Lennon

Bolton come into this one having avoided a fourth consecutive league defeat after they beat Brighton at the Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Academy product Zach Clough grabbed the only goal of the game, his sixth in nine games. Saturday’s win ended Neil Lennon’s worst ever run as a manager; never before had he lost three successive matches - which Bolton did when they lost their third game in a row 1-0 to Middlesbrough a week ago.

Last five meetings
06 Dec 2014 Reading v Bolton D 0-0 League Championship
18 Jan 2014 Reading v Bolton W 7-1 League Championship
10 Aug 2013 Bolton v Reading D 1-1 League Championship
02 Feb 2008 Reading v Bolton L 0-2 Premier League
25 Aug 2007 Bolton v Reading L 3-0 Premier League

Head to Head
In total these teams have met 30 times before in league and cup and it is Bolton that hold the superior record with 13 wins to Reading’s 11 with 6 ending in a draw. Reading’s biggest win over the Trotters came in January 2014 when the Royals put 7 past a hapless Bolton side with Adam Le Fondre bagging a first half hat-trick. When the teams met at Madejski Stadium in December, neither side could find the breakthrough and they played out their first ever 0-0 draw in 30 meetings.

Team News

Reading: Yakubu could be recalled to the starting line up, as Reading search for some much needed firepower up front after scoring just once in their last 5 games. Steve Clarke has no new injury concerns but Anton Ferdinand and Jem Karacan are both still out while Chris Gunter made his return to the starting line-up after injury against Forest.

Bolton: Ben Amos could retain his spot in goal despite Andy Lonergan’s recovery from concussion. The 24-year-old extended his loan from Manchester United on Monday and kept a clean sheet in Bolton’s match against Brighton at the weekend. Manager Neil Lennon will hope that Liam Feeney recovers from a knee injury that forced him off with 25 minutes left against Brighton. Kevin McNaughton (hamstring) returned against Brighton but this game comes too soon for striker Craig Davies (hamstring) while Mark Davies (knee) is on course for a return to action but not until later in the month. Darren Pratley (hamstring), Adam Bogdan (ankle), Max Clayton (knee) and Liam Trotter (thigh) are still sidelined.

Prediction: Bolton 1-1 Reading