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Reading FC vs Sheffield United: Match Preview

Royals host Blades as Reading look to take advantage of United’s recent wobble.

Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Well I was certainty wrong that the Derby game would be a tight win for the Royals in my last preview! Reading looked like they both could win or thrown that game away in the blink of an eye! However, against a top four side Reading managed to hold their own and earn a point to stop the rut of a losing streak at home.

Now the Royals face another in form side with Sheffield United travelling down to the Madjeski on a cold Tuesday night. Can Reading build on the Derby game and earn a long awaited three points or will the wait for a victory continue?

Brentford v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images

Reading

Form (all competitions): WLLDD

Chris Martin is now eligible to play after being forced to miss the Derby game due to his loan agreement. Yann Kermorgant is still nursing a calf injury so will likely not be risked with Sam Smith potentially keeping his place on the bench. Bödvarsson’s last equaliser on Saturday edges him ahead as Reading’s top goalscorer with nine goals this campaign in all competitions - although Mo Barrow’s goal and impressive performance at the weekend bring him closer to challenging.

This is a promising sign to fans after past weeks of limited goals and stand-out performances. Speaking of stand-out performances, Liam Kelly’s 30-yard screamer against Derby has earned him Sky Bet Goal of the Weekend. The Irishman will certainly hope to add to his tally of five goals this campaign against the Blades. John Swift’s return to the side in the 70th minute could be a sign that he will be more involved in the game on Tuesday with him replacing Clement in midfield.

Top goalscorer: Jon Dadi Bödvarrson (9, all competitions)

Sheffield United v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Sheffield United

Form (all competitions): LLWWL

Sheffield United currently eighth in the Championship after an impressive campaign that has seen them push for a play-off place. However, their recent form has seen them slip down the table and allowed rivals to gain a foothold in those coveted six spaces.

Despite beating strong sides such as Leeds’s and QPR in February they were thrashed by Wolves at the start of the month and lost to struggling Hull City who have seriously under-performed this season. Former Royal Billy Sharp looks set to lead the line to add to his total of 11 this campaign. A win for the Blades will see them rise as high as fifth if results go their way.

Top goalscorer: Leon Clark (15, all competitions)

What do the stats say?

  • These sides both played in the Premier League in the 2006/7 season but have had very few meetings in recent years. The last time they met at the Madejski Stadium was January 26 2013 in a FA Cup match where Reading won 4-0.
  • However, since 2007 Sheffield United have won five out of the last nine meetings (one draw, three Reading wins).
  • Reading have not won a game in 28 days since the 3-1 win over Burton Albion on January 30.
  • Mo Barrow’s eight goals and four assists mean this is his most prolific season since starting in English football in 2014.

How can I follow the game?

Audio coverage is on BBC Radio Berkshire at 104.4, but not available online. Coverage is also available on the EFL iFollow service but no video coverage will be streaming the game. Full match highlights will be available on the app after the game.

Reading Football Club will post highlights of the game on their respected social media pages and YouTube channel

Prediction: Reading 1-2 Sheffield United