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Reading FC v Birmingham City FC: Match Preview

Reading host Birmingham City looking to take the opportunity to win three league games on the bounce, something they haven't done all season; Phil Owtram looks at the chances of both teams.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Reading FC

Form (all comps): WWDLL

Reading manager Brian McDermott is hopeful Deniss Rakels and Garath McCleary will be available to face Birmingham. Hal Robson-Kanu remains sidelined for The Royals but aims to be fit in time to play for Wales at Euro 2016.

Reading secured back-to-back wins with victory over Nottingham Forest at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday, and haven't had three consecutive wins in the league since October. Tuesday’s win means the Royals are now unbeaten in their last eight home matches in the league and will look to extend that record when Birmingham come to town. The last time Birmingham did so last season they went away with all three points thanks to a 1-0 win. Reading have a record of three wins in their last five meetings at Madejski Stadium with Birmingham which should give them some confidence going into this one

Reading FC vs. Birmingham City FC:9 April 2016 15:00 KO Madejski Stadium, ReadingReferee: Nigel Miller

Birmingham City FC

Form (all comps): LLDDL

Kyle Lafferty could start for Birmingham again after his goal-scoring debut against Brighton on Tuesday. The Blues will be without defender Neal Eardley who is sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Birmingham are on a run of five games without a win as their play-off push has taken a setback in recent weeks and they are now eleven points off sixth place Derby County. The Blues’ last win came seven games ago when they defeated Derby 3-0, a result which at the time lifted them to within two points of the play-off spots. Results have taken a turn for the worse since and ultimately their away form will cost them as a run of one win in their last 12 is a pretty poor return.

Reading (v Nottingham Forest): A. Al Habsi, P. McShane, C. Gunter, J. Cooper, S. Quinn, D. Williams, O. Norwood, J. Obita, S. Cox (M. Vydra 61), Y. Kermorgant, L. Piazon (O. John 61).

Birmingham City (v Brighton): T. Kuszczak, J. Spector, J. Grounds, P. Caddis, M. Morrison, S. Gleeson, M. Kieftenbeld, J. Maghoma (D. Fabbrini 78), Jon Toral (D. Cotterill 86), C. Donaldson, K. Lafferty (D. Davis 71).

What The Opposition Think

We enjoyed a great first three months but it feels like results and performances are gradually getting worse and we've not played well for 90 minutes since Derby away in January. To be temporarily positive, we've not got a big budget and ninth is two places higher than I predicted last summer, I would have taken this then. We were 2nd in October, since then it's been a regression to the mean.

You can read the full interview with Football Lab founder Gabriel in this week's View from the Town End, which you can find here.

Last five meetings

08 Aug 2015: Birmingham City 2-1 Reading (League Championship)

22 Apr 2015: Reading 0-1 Birmingham City (League Championship)

13 Dec 2014: Birmingham City 6-1 Reading (League Championship)

22 Mar 2014: Birmingham City 1-2 Reading (League Championship)

28 Sep 2013: Reading 2-0 Birmingham City (League Championship)

Head To Head

Reading v Birmingham City: W:10 D:10 L:11

YouTube History

Prediction

Reading FC 1-1 Birmingham City FC