Preston North End are the hosts in this clash as Reading make the long journey up to Lancashire to face the Lilywhites.
This looks set to be another crucial clash for the Royals who were unable to claim all three points against Birmingham City on Good Friday, with results elsewhere not exactly going their way either. Anything other than a win will surely increase the chances of relegation for the visitors, who won at Deepdale last season but lost the reverse fixture this term.
Paul Ince’s side will be the underdogs coming into this game - but will that suit them? Only time will tell.
We have some facts and thoughts for you once again ahead of kick-off.
What? Championship Matchday 41
Who? Preston North End
When? Monday 10th April
Opposition Manager? Ryan Lowe
Preston North End:
The Lilywhites are still in contention for the play-offs and that’s a big positive for them - because their supporters deserve something to get excited about.
It’s no surprise that they’re in their current position because Ryan Lowe is an extremely talented coach and it would be a surprise if he doesn’t make the move up to the Premier League at some point. He may have endured a mixed spell at Deepdale - but he’s only young and will only improve with more experience under his belt.
Their current owners have helped to provide stability - but a new investor may be needed to take them to the next level and that could end up being a barrier to their success. However, if they can make the most of a limited budget in the next couple of windows, they could easily push for promotion again next season if they don’t go up at the end of this term.
Replacing Tom Cannon when he leaves will also be a big task and could be crucial in determining how successful they are during the 2023/24 campaign.
A draw against Birmingham just wasn’t enough in the end and that makes a win at Deepdale even more critical.
It was good to see us be slightly more attacking against Birmingham - but we didn’t push hard enough for a winner during the latter stages and that’s gutting because you felt there was another goal in the game.
It was also surprising to see Tyrese Fornah playing on the left when Femi Azeez was available - but having the latter on the bench is a real weapon we can utilise if things aren’t going our way.
If I’m being honest though, I’d like to see Azeez in the starting lineup in place of Andy Carroll, even though the former England international was one of our more effective players on Friday.
The Last Meeting
Reading 1-2 Preston North End
Starting XI: Lumley; Guinness-Walker, Sarr, Holmes, Mbengue, Yiadom; Fornah, Casadei, Hendrick; Azeez; Joao
I’ve gone with an unchanged lineup from my last preview - because Yakou Meite didn’t look fully fit on Friday and could probably benefit from being on the bench.
If Meite was in my starting lineup, I probably would’ve gone with a 4-3-3 with Azeez and the Ivorian either side of Lucas Joao to give us a bit extra out wide.
Nesta Guinness-Walker has to come in for me with the ex-AFC Wimbledon man able to be a threat in the final third. However, he needs to replicate some of his displays from earlier in the season because he hasn’t been that effective recently.
Score Prediction: Preston North End 2-0 Reading
Here are my predictions for this round of Championship fixtures:
Huddersfield Town 2-1 Blackburn Rovers
Birmingham City 1-0 Stoke City
Cardiff City 1-1 Sunderland
Coventry City 3-1 Watford
Hull City 1-2 Millwall
Luton Town 3-0 Blackpool
Norwich City 2-0 Rotherham United
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
Wigan Athletic 2-0 Swansea City
Bristol City 0-2 Middlesbrough
Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United