Reading vs QPR preview: Mark Bowen's Royals look to make it four unbeaten in the Championship
(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Reading welcome London rivals QPR to the Madejski  Stadium on boxing day, looking to continue their mini unbeaten run and climb up the table. 

Mark Bowen's side will be looking to make it four unbeaten in the Championship since the Berkshire sides 3-2 loss at home to Birmingham City on December 7. 

A win against fellow hoops side QPR will move Bowen's side further away from the relegation battle in the Championship. Three points in this encounter will also move Reading to only three points off QPR in the table. 

However, the visitors QPR have a good record at the Madejski Stadium- winning three out of their last four Championship games against Reading over the years.

A win in this match for QPR could mean that they end boxing day in the top half of the Championship, depending on how other results pan out. 

Last Time Out 

Last weekend, Reading picked up an impressive 3-0 win at home to a 10 man Derby County side. 

A win which leapfrogged the Royals above the Rams in the Championship table with a game in hand. 

QPR on the other hand let a 2-1 lead slip in the 90th minute against London rivals Charlton Athletic, as they drew 2-2 in their last Championship game at Loftus Road. 

Boss Mark Warburton will be looking for a positive reaction from his side on Thursday. 

Match Information 

The game is on Thursday December 26, with a 19:30pm (GMT) kick-off.

The game will be played at the Madejski Stadium (Reading).

The referee will be James Linington.

Sky Sports Football will be showing the clash live from 19:15pm.

For live updates and a match report, check us out at VAVEL.co.uk.

Team News

Reading defender Matt Miazga will have a late fitness test to see if he is fit to face QPR.

The likes of George Puscas and Andy Yiadom are still out with respective long term injuries. 

Sam Baldock limped off in the Derby match, so he is a slight doubt the Royals.

John Swift made his return to action off the bench on Saturday, so could be in line to start this match on boxing day.

QPR are set to be without this trio of players for the trip to Reading: Charlie Owens, Liam Kelly and Yoann Barbet.

Predicted starting XI's

Reading's predicted starting XI (4-4-2): Rafael; Gunter, Morrison, Moore, Richards; Meite, Rinomhota, Swift, Ejaria; Boye, Joao. 

QPR's predicted starting XI (4-1-3-2): Lumley; Kane, Hall, Leistner, Manning; Cameron; Chair, Eze, Pugh; Wells, Hugil. 

Pre-match comments

Reading manager: Mark Bowen

Reading boss Mark Bowen has been speaking to the club website about the prospect of going within three points of Rangers.

“Back to back wins is important,” said the Reading boss. “We’ve got the first one. Now we’re focused on another home game against Queens Park Rangers and trying to get the same outcome.

“We’ve got to keep winning games, keep pushing up the table. We have a game in hand as well – which means nothing unless you turn it into a win – and we have had a good start to the Christmas week. But that’s all it is: a start.

“We will train on Christmas morning, and then on Boxing Day we’ll do some light work in the morning, have lunch, relax in the afternoon and get ready for the evening kick-off.”

Reading striker: Lucas Joao

The Reading forward is hoping that his side can go four unbeaten with a positive result against the London club. 

“This is the Championship – we’re playing again on Boxing Day and we need to focus again on the next one,” he said after the Derby game, with his attention already looking to the next.

“We’ll be at home, and looking to get three points again.

“Day by day, we are working to climb the table. We have to work game by game and we will see at the end.

“But of course, we need to keep enjoying ourselves and believing every game that we can come away with three points”, he told the QPR website. 

QPR midfielder: Marc Pugh 

The R's midfielder is looking for a reaction from and is certain that his side will bounce back.

Pugh said: “We go to Reading and need to play our stuff the way we know we can. We have been to tough places this year – you look at Stoke, Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday – and we have put in really good performances.

“It’s a shame we haven’t given our home fans more to shout about so far this season because we have got some great individual quality in the dressing room.

“Our home form has been inconsistent. Other than the Barnsley game, our form has been really good away from home this season. We can go there with confidence and will hopefully give our away fans something to shout about.” (Quotes credit- qpr.co.uk)

Head to Head 

These two sides have met 94 times over the years in all competitions with Reading having the better of the head to head record.

The Royals have recorded a total of 39 wins over QPR. There have been 24 draws between the two sides including the last two Championship matches between the two.

And QPR have managed 31 wins against the Berkshire club.

The last meeting between these two sides was earlier this season in front of the Sky cameras, as a late Sam Baldock goal rescued a vital point for Reading in Mark Bowen's second game in the Royals hot seat. 

Key players to watch out for 

Reading: Lucas Joao

The former Sheffield Wednesday man has scored three goals in the last four games for the Royals.  He will be eager to make it four in five on boxing day as he looks to become Reading's main man upfront. 

QPR: Eberechi Eze

The attacking midfielder is QPR's main attacking threat. Bagging the most goals and assists so far for the club this season.

The 23-year-old has scored nine goals so far in the Championship and has bagged a total of four assists.

It will be interesting to see who wins part two of the Eze vs Ejaria battle on Thursday. Part one was won by Ejaria, so Eze will be keen to show that he is the better player.

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