Reading vs Leeds United Preview: Royals look to erase home woes against out-of-form Leeds

Reading vs Leeds United Preview: Royals look to erase home woes against out-of-form Leeds

Reading take on Leeds United at the Madejski Stadium in an intriguing battle with both sides currently unable to hit any form.

Dean Cooke

Reading are looking for their first home win on a Saturday this season when they take on an inconsistent Leeds United side this weekend.

The Royals go into the game just five points off the relegation zone, confidence is low around the camp and with one win in 15, manager Jaap Stam is sure to be feeling the pressure.

Leeds, on the other handgo into the game on the back of two heavy defeats at the hands of leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers and play-off contenders Middlesbrough.

Paul Heckingbottom's side sits 13th in the Championship table, four points behind the chasing pack who all want to secure a top six place and hope to be in the Premier League promotion battle come the end of the campaign. 

Story so far

Last season's play-off finalists find themselves sitting near the foot of the table. Predictability and stubbornness from Stam has left the club looking over their shoulder. A defeat this weekend could leave them in serious trouble.

The Royals still have to play the top four in the league all away from home, meaning points this Saturday is a must. Winger Modou Barrow will be looking to continue his excellent form this season against his former side whilst 17-year-old Tom Holmes will be looking to keep his place in the side after making his debut on Tuesday.

Leeds, on the other hand, don't have any worry of relegation, however, their season is in danger of dwindling into a write-off. After the win against Brentford a couple of weeks ago, the target of play-offs was still alive, however, with crushing defeats over the last week and rivals picking up victories - this is now unlikely.

Samuel Saiz will be hoping he can recover some of his form that he produced earlier on in the season to help the Whites pick up a crucial three points at a ground where lost last season.

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Last time they met

Reading were victorious the last time these sides met. In late October, former Leeds winger Barrow netted late on to give the Royals all three points at Elland Road.

The drama went right to the final whistle though, as Spanish playmaker Pablo Hernandez saw his tame penalty saved by Vito Mannone in added time.

Team news

Midfielder Gareth McCleary has been ruled out for the season with a broken ankle, whilst Paul McShane and Tommy Elphick remain sidelined for the Royals.

Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell is likely to keep his place in goal after making some impressive saves in the midweek loss to Wolves.

Liam Cooper is a doubt meaning on-loan versatile Everton defender Matthew Pennington could return to Heckingbottom's side.