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Bolton Wanderers vs Reading FC: Match Preview

Reading v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Reading FC vs Bolton Wanderers, EFL Championship

The Madejski Stadium, 8:00pm KO

Reading will welcome fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers to the Madejski Stadium tonight as Jaap Stam’s side go in search of a response to last week’s midweek uninspiring defeat to Sheffield United.

Pressure continues to build on the Dutchman with speculation as to his future in Berkshire rife in the media over the last month or so, but defeat in this relegation six-pointer could prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Reading FC

Form (all comps): L/L/D/D/L

The hosts could be boosted by the return of trio Sone Aluko, Yann Kermorgant and John Swift as they look to secure a fourth home victory of the season against the Trotters. Aluko and Swift could both be in line for starts, but Yann Kermorgant is unlikely to start with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in impressive form.

Joseph Mendes and Callum Harriott both played for the under-23s side on Monday night, getting their first action since returning from serious injuries. However, don’t expect the duo to be involved in the senior team in the next few weeks, and the same can be said for the sidelined Paul McShane, Jordan Obita, Tommy Elphick and Garath McCleary.

Bolton Wanderers

Form (all comps): L/L/W/D/L

Phil Parkinson could reintroduce right-back Mark Little after the defender served the final instalment of a three-match ban last weekend, whilst former Royals Jem Karacan and Adam Le Fondre will be pushing for starts on their returns to the Madejski Stadium.

Zach Clough will be pushing for a start alongside Sammy Ameobi up top, with Reece Burke potentially in line to replace Dorian Dervite at the back. Karl Henry remains unavailable, whilst midfield duo Will Buckley and Craig Noone set to miss out through injury.

Head to Head

Reading: 13

Draw: 8

Bolton Wanderers: 13

Prediction

Despite just goal difference separating the two sides in the table heading into the clash, the pressure will all be on the hosts as the Royals look to continue a seven-game unbeaten run against Bolton and extend their four-point cushion above the drop zone. However, with just one win from the last 14 games and the reverse fixture’s performance in mind, you’d be optimistic to expect a Reading victory. 1-1.