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Reading FC vs Leeds United: Match Preview

Who’ll come out on top in the battle of the under-performing sides?

Leeds United v Millwall - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Saturday’s fixture marks one of the biggest games in Reading’s season as The Royals need a win to distance themselves from the bottom three and of course continue bragging rights against Leeds. It almost feels like a life time ago since Yann Kermorgant’s winner at the Madejski last season to push Leeds out of the play-off race.

Both team have had a change of fortunes since that campaign. Leeds have had the better season out of the two but it was below their high expectations of pushing for the top two.

Both sides are desperate to finish the season but also settle old scores from previous years. Can Reading finally end their terrible run of form at home in one of their biggest tests of the campaign? Or will Leeds add to the misery of this terrible season?

Reading

Form (all competitions): LDDLD

Jaap Stam confirmed that Gareth McClearly is side-lined for the rest of season with a broken ankle. The Jamaican winger has had an injury plagued campaign which limits wide options for Stam.

One of the big decisions of Tuesday night was giving Tom Holmes his first league start at the age of 17 years old. The defender had a promising game and it will be interesting to see if he will be handed this huge responsibility, although senior players like Tiago Ilori could return to the side to add experience and discipline.

It is difficult to predict these days what Stam will do on a match day so expect the unexpected! A win would take Reading eight points clear of the relegation zone. This will be another a chance for Modou Barrow to build on his goal on Tuesday and hurt his former employers as he demonstrated in October’s win over Leeds.

Top goalscorers: Modou Barrow and Jon Dadi Bödvarsson - 9

Leeds United

Form (all competitions): DDWLL

Leeds are currently experiencing a terrible run of form in the league. Recent results include defeats to Wolves & Middlesbrough, both of which were 3-0 defeats. They now sit in 13th place, nine points behind Middlesbrough in sixth. Leeds have severely missed the loss of striker Chris Wood to Burnley in the summer with their highest goalscorer being Kemar Roofe on 12 goals in all competitions.

Leeds will provide a tough, physical opposition, but have been very exposed defensively recently. This could mean it will be a very tense and fiery fixture to witness on Saturday.

Top goalscorer: Kemar Roofe - 12

What do the stats say?

  • Reading’s 1-1 draw with Bolton on Tuesday meant they have now gone 15 games without a win at home.
  • Both teams have only picked up seven points this calendar year which shows how far they have fallen from last year’s high standards.

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 2-0 Leeds United