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Sheffield Wednesday vs Reading: Match Preview

Can Reading shake their ‘negative’ reputation as they travel to Hillsborough on Saturday?

Fulham v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday FC vs Reading FC, EFL Championship

Hillsborough Stadium, 3:00pm KO

Reading travel up to Sheffield looking to open up an eight-point cushion over the relegation zone. The Royals can’t mathematically secure safety due to Barnsley’s game in hand, but can move a minimum of six points clear with just two games left to play with a victory away at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday

Form (league): W/W/L/L/W

Jos Luhukay could be without influential attacking duo Adthe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao as his Sheffield Wednesday side prepare to welcome Reading to Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon. The pair were absent from the matchday squad against Hull and remain doubts here, with Jordan Rhodes and Fernando Forestieri expected to retain their spots up top.

Elsewhere, first choice keeper Keiren Westwood is set to continue his spell on the sidelines, with strikers Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher also ruled out. Centre-half Joost van Aken hasn’t played in over two months and won’t feature here, while midfielders Sean Clare and Kieran Lee are also sidelined.

Reading FC

Form (league): W/L/W/L/D

Aston Villa loanee Tommy Elphick is expected to return in some capacity following after over two months on the sidelines, although the former Bournemouth defender will likely have to settle for a place on the bench, with Tiago Ilori and Liam Moore’s defensive partnership starting to blossom.

All three of Reading’s central midfielders came under fire for their displays against Sunderland, although Dave Edwards is the man most likely to drop out here following a string of sub-par performances. Paul Clement is spoilt for choice in terms of potential replacements, with Joey van den Berg, George Evans and Pelle Clement all hoping to feature. Academy graduate Andy Rinomhota made the bench last weekend and will hope to be involved again here.

Head to Head

Sheffield Wednesday: 9

Draw: 5

Reading: 10

Past 5 Meetings

23 January 2016: Reading 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday (EFL Championship)

10 December 2016: Reading 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday (EFL Championship)

17 March 2017: Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 Reading (EFL Championship)

25 November 2017: Reading 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday (EFL Championship)

26 January 2018: Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Reading (FA Cup)

Prediction

Form has been patchy throughout this season for Sheffield Wednesday, but Jos Luhukay will be hopeful of securing back-to-back victories against a Reading side who have been criticised as ‘too negative’ under Paul Clement. The former Derby boss made the point that this will have been his first full week of training with the Reading squad, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Royals look to take the game to Sheffield Wednesday. Expect a cagey affair between two sides who have struggled at different ends of the pitch in recent weeks. 1-1.