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Reading FC v Blackburn Rovers FC: Match Preview

Reading host Blackburn at Madejski Stadium a week before their FA Cup Semi-Final against Arsenal. Phil Owtram provides a preview of the game.

Phil Cole/Getty Images

Reading FC v Blackburn Rovers FC
League Championship
Saturday 11th April, KO 3PM
Madejski Stadium
Referee: Michael Bull

Reading (18th)
Form (all comps): DDLWL
Blackpool v Reading: 1-1
Reading v Cardiff: 1-1
Charlton v Reading: 3-2
Reading v Bradford (FA Cup): 3-0
Watford v Reading: 4-1

Manager: Steve Clarke

Reading completed back-to-back 1-1 draws in the space of four days as the Royals took a point from their trip to Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night. Reading went behind early as Jamie O’hara dispatched a 6th minute penalty that was cancelled out by Grant Hall’s second half own goal. It was a disappointing result for Reading considering Blackpool’s relegation to League 1 was confirmed on Monday. Attention now turns to Blackburn’s visit to Madejski Stadium as the Royals build up to next Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Blackburn (10th)
Form (all comps): LWLLW
Blackburn v Liverpool (FA Cup Replay): 0-1
Leeds v Blackburn: 0-3
Blackburn v Brighton: 0-1
Blackburn v Brentford: 2-1
Charlton v Blackburn: 1-3

Manager: Gary Bowyer

Blackburn failed to secure their own FA Cup semi-final appearance as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in their FA Cup quarter-final replay. With the play-offs almost certainly out of reach for Gary Bowyer’s men it seems as though his players will be competing to maintain their place in the top half of the division.

Last five meetings
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
01 Nov 2014 Blackburn v Reading L 3-1 League Championship

Head to Head
These teams have only met 14 times before in all competitions and Blackburn hold the considerably better record with 6 wins while Reading have only ever beaten the Rovers once - with seven draws. The Royals' only win against Blackburn came in the old second division during the 1986/87 season a 4-0 victory at Elm Park. The match at Ewood Park in November 2014 saw the hosts run out 3-1 winners thanks to a double from Rudy Gestede either side of a goal by Ben Marshall while Glenn Murray grabbed the only goal for the Royals that day.

Team News
Reading: Reading trio Michael Hector (knee), Danny Williams (knock) and Nathaniel Chalobah (foot) are injury doubts. Even if fit, the trio could be rested for next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal as the club are 10 points above the relegation zone.

Blackburn: Blackburn have four players back in contention after the FA Cup quarter-final replay defeat by Liverpool. Paul Taylor, Jay Spearing, John O'Sullivan and David Raya are all available for the injury-hit side.

Prediction: Reading 1-2 Blackburn