After back to back 0-0 draws, Reading will be hoping to grab a win under the Madejski lights against Blackburn Rovers. Jose Gomes’ side have been experiencing positive results in recent weeks as they continue to claw themselves out of the bottom three, but they now face a Blackburn team who are suddenly out of form after an impressive start of the season. Can Reading make it three defeats in a row for Blackburn or will the away side rediscover their winning form?
Nelson Oliveira could return after recovering well from his injury against Aston Villa - he may replace Sone Aluko as Reading’s lone forward. Reading can also count on Ovie Ejaria after the Liverpool loanee’s illness-related absence at Sheffield Wednesday. Jose Gomes has no other new injury concerns coming into the game.
However, the question is how much he changes a side that earned a clean sheet at Hillsborough - does he roll the dice to snatch a win? The Royals are in the bottom three, but know that a win will take them out of the relegation zone as Rotherham United could only draw on Tuesday. We face in-form Sheffield United at the weekend so a positive result against Blackburn could spur a much-needed resurgence.
Manager Tony Mowbray welcomes back midfielder Corry Evans to the team after a short-term injury. Otherwise, Darragh Lenihan, Jacob Davenport, Ben Gladwin and Dominic Samuel are unavailable for Rovers.
The Lancashire team are going through a dodgy patch of form at the moment. They suffered a 5-2 defeat to Brentford at the start of the month and a late 1-0 defeat to Brentford last weekend. Despite this they sit comfortably in 13th place and their previous form made them a dark horse for a play-off place. Bradley Dack and Danny Graham have scored 25 goals between them and will be the main threats to the Royals defence.
- Reading haven’t been beaten by Blackburn on home soil since February 2014.
- The visitors have only gained one point in their last three league matches against Reading (W0 D1 L2).
- The Royals’ top goalscorers Yakou Meite and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson are yet to score in 2019. Meite last scored on November 10 against fellow strugglers Ipswich and Bodvarrson’s last goal was on September 28 against Brentford.
- Jose Gomes just needs one more clean sheet at home to match Paul Clement’s 14-match record (3).
This will be a tough match for the Royals as Blackburn are a dangerous side based on previous form. However, based on current status, this could be a tight affair as both teams are desperate for a change of fortunes. I can see this being a draw but both sides are prone to letting in a late goal.
Reading 1-1 Blackburn