Reading will be looking to boost their survival hopes when they take on Luton Town this evening.
With the Royals having the home advantage, they will be desperate to secure a positive result at the Select Car Leasing Stadium but they are set to come up against a fierce promotion competitor.
Rob Edwards has managed to continue Nathan Jones’ good work at Luton Town and with the Hatters looking set to seal a place in the play-offs, they will be hoping to continue building momentum.
Losing against Huddersfield Town in the play-off semis last season, they won’t want a repeat this term and that may not happen considering the options they have at their disposal.
Will their depth and quality pay dividends against the hosts tonight though? That remains to be seen.
Ahead of this fixture, here are some of the things you need to know.
What? Championship Matchday 43
Who? Luton Town
Where? Select Car Leasing Stadium
When? Wednesday 19th April
Opposition Manager? Rob Edwards
Saturday was much more positive. We may not have been too threatening going forward - but we were superb defensively and I hope we can defend just as well this evening. Considering we hadn’t recorded a clean sheet for so long, the fact we managed to pick one up against the best team in the league is very impressive. The Clarets may not have played their best team but they still had some very gifted players on the pitch and showed their class at times.
There are still improvements that need to be made, but Noel Hunt did extremely well in his first game and I just hope we can keep this good feeling going. A draw against the Hatters would be a good result considering where they are in the league, but we ideally need a win.
Moving on to off-field issues, we had a group discussion at TTE about whether to support STAR’s open letter or not. As a group, we voted in favour of supporting it. The POTS award controversy may not be the most important issue at the moment - but the club were heavily criticised on social media for handing out this gong at the gala dinner last year and the fact they have done it again is pretty surprising.
I have no issue with those who say we should be focusing on bigger problems. In fact, I agree. But in my view, this was a letter still worth sending. Continuing to highlight off-field problems is a must, even when we’re trying to create a buzz for the players and coaching staff. A failure to hold the club to account would be a dereliction of duty.
Let’s push standards up. As supporters, we should expect more.
Luton’s off-field stability has probably maximised manager Edwards’ chances of being successful at Kenilworth Road and he’s certainly making the most of it.
Doing brilliantly to recover so well from his sacking at Watford, he deserves success and so do the Hatters, because they have gone about their business in the right way and haven’t spent recklessly.
They did manage to add some excellent players to their squad last summer though, with Carlton Morris proving to be a real asset in Bedfordshire.
Good luck to them - but I don’t want them to get a win tonight!
The Last Meeting
Luton Town 0-0 Reading
Starting XI: Lumley; Guinness-Walker, Sarr, Holmes, Yiadom; Camara, Fornah, Casadei, Azeez; Carroll, Joao
Joe Lumley starts in goal once more after a solid performance at the weekend - and the back four didn’t put a foot wrong either. Nesta Guinness-Walker and Andy Yiadom were particularly good and were rightly praised for their performances.
In midfield, Tyrese Fornah starts alongside Cesare Casadei, with the former’s return to the middle allowing Mamadi Camara to come in. Femi Azeez has to be in the first 11 again if he’s fit, with Lucas Joao also retaining his starting spot and Andy Carroll coming back in.
Let’s hope Yakou Meite makes the bench.
Score Prediction: Reading 1-1 Luton Town
Here are my predictions for tonight’s Championship fixtures:
Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Coventry City
Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Norwich City
Swansea City 2-1 Preston North End
Watford 2-0 Cardiff City
Middlesbrough 3-1 Hull City