After facing two of the Championship’s promotion hopefuls in recent weeks, the Royals now face a relegation threatened Sunderland at the Madejski Stadium. Both sides started this season with hopes of promotion, but have had very different seasons. Sunderland have suffered the greatest collapse out of the two sides with them sitting 23rd, nine points behind Reading.
In a week of miracle comebacks in the world of football, Sunderland fans hope they can claw their way out of the bottom three. The Royals are now winning at home under new management and will try to use this game to ease the fears of relegation.
Clement has billed this as the biggest game of the season in his pre-match interviews, as a win could push Reading eight points away from the bottom three. So, it is very important we all get behind the team on Saturday in order for us to look forward to rebuilding for next season in the Championship!
Form (all competitions): LWLWL
The Royals have midfielder Leandro Bacuna absent who is serving a suspension from his sending off at Fulham on Tuesday night. Dave Edwards is now back in contention to be selected after his suspension from the Aston Villa defeat on April 3. Tyler Blackett also returns to the squad after suffering with illness so could be pushing for a start at left back.
Clement could play the same 11 that earned the Royals their win against Preston. The manager will have a selection headache in terms of strikers as all his strikers bar Joseph Mendes are back to full fitness. Despite the defeats to Fulham and Villa, Reading are a team playing with regained confidence and with the fans behind them they could pull off a good performance.
Top goalscorer: Jon Dadi Bödvarrson & Modou Barrow - 10 (all competitions)
Form (all competitions): LWLDD
Sunderland travel to Reading with numerous injury doubts and growing fan tension regarding relegation. Captain John O’Shea stands out as the major absentee who is expected not to play on Saturday. The former Manchester United player is struggling with back and groin problems.
Lynden Gooch and Paddy McNair are also battling to be passed fit for the game after withdrawing during their last game against Norwich. The Black Cats have scored in their last three games but have been let down by an exposed defence. They have been crying out for a striker since former Royal Lewis Grabban terminated his loan in January due to their poor league form.
If Sunderland are to survive the drop they have to get a result against Reading.
Top goalscorer: Lewis Grabban - 12 (no longer at club)
George Honeyman and Aiden McGeady - 7 (all comps)
What do the stats say?
- Reading have won their last three home league matches against Sunderland.
- In the last 11 meetings between the clubs, the game has not resulted in a draw.
- Sunderland boss Chris Coleman has lost five of his six league meetings with Reading with the other result being a draw.
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