Reading v Burton Albion Preview: Royals celebrate 500 games at Madejski Stadium as Brewers roll into town

Reading host Burton Albion in what is the Royals’ 500th game at the Madejski Stadium.

The stadium named after Reading’s former chairman Sir John Madejski has been the home of the Royals since the 1998/99 season.

As the first-half of the season comes to a close, Reading lie in 14th place in the Championship table with 27 points from 22 games a massive underachievement compared to last season.

On the other hand, Burton are once again fighting for Championship survival. The Brewers are in 22nd in the league table with 17 points from their first 22 games.

However, the Derbyshire club secured a vital victory away at fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers last week, which put them one point from safety.

Reading Team News

Reading manager Jaap Stam has no new injury concerns, but could welcome back midfielder John Swift back to the side following an injury he picked up against Bolton in November.

Garath McCleary and George Evans are nearing match fitness. However, it is thought that the game will come too soon for the midfield duo.

However, one player that could miss out is goalkeeper Vito Mannone. The goalkeeper is in mourning following the tragic death of his mother earlier this week.

Stam said that he will speak to the Italian before making a decision on whether or not to select him.

Burton Albion Team News 

Like Stam, Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough ​has no new injury concerns ahead of clash with Reading. 

However, speaking at his pre-match press conference Clough said that Joe Mason have played his last game for the club. 

The striker who is on loan from runaway leaders Wolves has not played since the Brewers' 2-0 defeat at home to Sunderland.

​Clough, said that Mason's injury will keep him out until after his loan expires at the beginning of January.

League Form

In terms of current league form, Reading have won five out of their last seven Championship games, whilst Burton have won two out of their last seven league fixtures. 

There have only been three competitive meetings between the two sides with Reading winning all three matches. 

During the festive period, the Royals play Bristol City, Barnsley and Birmingham.

Burton Albion play Leeds, Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday. 

Likley line-ups

Reading: Vito Mannone; Chris Gunter, Paul McShane, Liam Moore, Tyler Blackett; Leandro Bacuna, Dave Edwards, Liam Kelly, Modou Barrow; Yann Kermorgant, Sone Aluko

​Burton Albion: Stephen Bywater, John Brayford, Ben Turner, Jake Buxton Tom Flanagan, Tom Naylor, Luke Murphy, Lucas Akins, Will Miller, Lloyd Dyer, Marvin Sordell