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Reading FC v Walsall FC (FA Cup Fourth Round): Match Preview

Reading host League One side Walsall in the fourth round of the FA Cup; Phil Owtram provides a preview of the match.

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Reading FC

Form (all comps): DWLDD

Reading captain Paul McShane is fit after spending almost a month out with a calf injury while fellow centre-back Michael Hector has shaken off a knock. Midfielder Stephen Quinn is also available again but Garath McCleary misses out with a hamstring problem.

Reading’s record at home in the FA Cup is remarkably good and they remain four years unbeaten. One must admit there have only been four fixtures at Madejski stadium in that time but the last time a League One side came to town in the FA Cup Reading beat them 3-0 and that was Bradford last season. With play off and promotion hopes seemingly out of reach and good history in this competition it is likely Brian McDermott will field a strong side for this encounter. He will be looking for his side to start stringing together results after a rather inconsistent start to his tenure.

Reading FC vs. Walsall FC (FA Cup Fourth Round):30 January 2016 15:00 KO Madejski Stadium, ReadingReferee: Peter Bankes

Walsall FC

Form (all comps): DWDWL

New Walsall signing Bryn Morris is cup-tied for the Saddlers after playing in the competition for York this season. Striker Tom Bradshaw is set to face a Reading team who have reportedly shown interest in him in the current window.

Walsall have lost just four games all season and are currently unbeaten in four league and cup games. After losing manager Dean Smith to Championship side Brentford in November Sean O’Driscoll has come in winning three of his four games in charge. With the club in third position in League One and looking good for at least a play off spot come the end of the season this will be a tough test for The Royals.

Reading (v Sheffield Wednesday): Ali Al Habsi, A. Ferdinand, C. Gunter, J. Cooper, H. Robson-Kanu, D. Williams, O. Norwood, J. Obita, G. Evans (O. John 65), M. Vydra, Lucas Piazon (Y. Kermorgant 46).

Walsall (v Blackpool): N. Etheridge, A. Taylor, J. O’Connor, P. Downing, R. Henry (M. Preston 90+1), A. Chambers, J. Demetriou, R. Sawyers (K. Morris 89), S. Mantom, A. Forde, T. Bradshaw (M. Lalkovic 86).

Last Five Meetings

28 Dec 2003: Walsall 1-1 Reading (League Division 1)

21 Oct 2003: Reading 0-1 Walsall (League Division 1)

18 Jan 2003: Reading 0-0 Walsall (League Division 1)

14 Jan 2003: Reading 1-1 (1-4) Walsall (FA Cup)

04 Jan 2003: Walsall 0-0 Reading (FA Cup)

Head To Head

Reading v Walsall: W:22 D:23 L:29

YouTube History

Prediction

Reading FC 2-1 Walsall FC