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Scouting Report: West Bromwich Albion (Home)

There's a clear and present danger for the Royals on Easter Monday. Can we overcome it?

West Bromwich Albion v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Reading can secure their place in the second flight of English football for another year if they defeat West Brom on Easter Monday (as long as Rotherham United fail to win).

However, the Baggies come into the game on a good run of form, with four wins from their last six fixtures. They beat Hull City 3-2 last time out, mainly thanks to another man of the match performance from Dwight Gayle.

He will be a real threat for the Royals if we allow him too much time on the ball in dangerous areas. If allowed space in the penalty area, chances are the game will be over within the first half, because he doesn’t often squander chances.

Dwight Gayle and his strike partner, Jay Rodriguez, have notched a combined total of 44 goals this season, which is only four goals short of the total for the entire Royals squad.

The combination of the Englishmen has proved to be one of the most lethal partnerships in recent Championship seasons, and they could both give Reading some real trouble if we aren’t careful.

Their speed on the break means that the Baggies can turn defence into attack incredibly quickly, and often opposition can’t deal with it.

Fortunately though, the Royals have one of the quicker backlines in the division and have been able to deal with a lot of other teams that like to counterattack.

In contrast to how quick the Royals' back line is, the West Brom defensive line has a distinct lack of pace. Ahmed Hegazi, for as solid as he has been for a large part of the season, always seems to be at a disadvantage in a race for the ball - although he may be injured on Monday. If the Royals can exploit this with players like Modou Barrow and Yakou Meite, the Royals might have a good chance of getting something from the game.

My prediction for the game is 2-1 to the Royals. The atmosphere at the Madejski Stadium is at the highest it has been in a long time and that energy will carry over to the players who'll grind out a very important win.

If we allow the Baggies to counter attack and drive at us with pace, we have very little chance of coming out with anything. I hope the atmosphere and the energy from the fans will give the players the extra push that they need to get the three points.