Reading vs Birmingham City preview: Blues looking to build on encouraging win against Leeds United

Reading vs Birmingham City preview: Blues looking to build on encouraging win against Leeds United

The Blues head into the game against the Royals knowing that a win could see them climb out of the relegation zone.

Tom Heslop

Birmingham City head into the new year hoping that the second half of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship will be better than the second half of the 2016/17 season as they look to climb of the foot of the table with a win over this weeks opponents, Reading. 

The Blues head to the Madejeski Stadium looking to build on their impressive win over Leeds United on December 30th, in a game where the recalled Jacques Maghoma bagged the winner with less than 10 minutes to go in the game. 

Struggling sides

But despite the three points, Blues remain rooted to the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table because Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers picked up wins against Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest respectively. 

The home side Reading will also be looking to distance themselves from the relegation zone as they sit just six points above 22nd placed Bolton -  a far cry to their fanastic placing in the Championship play-offs at the end of the 2016/17 season.

The Royals are without a win at home since November and manager Jaap Stam confirmed that he is wary of the threats that Blues have despite being bottom of the table. 

'You need to work very hard'

Ahead of the game, Stam told the clubs official website“Teams that aren’t in the top half of the table can make it difficult for the teams at the top of the league as well.

“That’s what’s happening; we’ve seen it last year already.  You need to work very hard for your points to climb the table.”

Going into the fixture, Blues manager Steve Cotterill will be hoping that his side can break their away duck and pick up their first three points on the road having picked up just two points from away matches all season. 

Team News

The Blues boss confirmed that he could well rotate his side again after he made four changes to the side that impressively won against Leeds on Saturday. 

Stam on the other hand hasn't revealed whether or not he will be rotating the squad against Blues but here are how the two sides could possibly line-up...

Reading: Mannone, Gunter, McShane, Moore, Blackett, Evans, Edwards, McCleary, Aluko, Barrow, Bodvarsson.

Birmingham City: Stockdale, Colin, Roberts, Dean, Grounds, Gardner, Davis, Kieftenbeld, Boga, Gallagher, Maghoma.