Reading vs Blackpool preview: Royals looking to replicate positive league form in the FA Cup
(Photo by Simon West/Getty images)

Reading take on League One side Blackpool FC in the third round of the FA Cup.

This match is being labeled as 'the Charlie Adam derby'.

Last Time Out 

Both sides were in League action on New Years Day, with the Royals picking up another three points in the EFL Championship against promotion chasing Fulham. 

Whilst Blackpool suffered a 2-1 loss away from home against Rotherham United in League One. 

In terms of last FA Cup action for both sides, this is Reading's first FA Cup match coming up this weekend against the Tangerines as the third round is the round where all Championship and Premier League sides enter the competition.

Blackpool qualified for this match by beating Maidstone United by 3-1 in the second round just over a month ago.

Team News

Liam Moore is highly unlikely to feature in this match after dislocating his shoulder again on New Years Day against Fulham.

Another player who was injured in that match was Lucas Joao. According to Bowen, he doesn't think the injury is as serious as first thought. However, it is unlikely that the Royals boss will risk the in-form Royals striker at the weekend in the FA Cup.

The likes of George Puscas and Andy Yiadom are still out with respective injuries for the Berkshire side. 

Both Sone Aluko and Vito Mannone could be in the squad on Saturday after returning from their respective loan spells away from the club. 

The League One club have the majority of the squad fit and ready to try and cause an upset at the weekend in Berkshire.

The only absentee is first-choice goalkeeper Jan Alnwick who is out for 12 weeks with an arm injury.

Predicted starting XI's

Reading's predicted XI (4-3-3)- Walker; Richards, Morrison, Miazga, Obita; Rinomhota, Adam, Pele; McCleary, Boye, Baldock. 

Blackpool's predicted XI (4-2-3-1)- Howard; Husband, Edwards, Heneghan, Turton; Virtue, Spearing; Feeney, Thompson, Delfouneso; Gnanduillet.

Manager/Player Comments ahead of this match

Reading manager Mark Bowen hinted at rotation for the FA Cup match on Saturday in an interview which he did with Reading FC after the Fulham win. 

He said: "I've made no decision so far. We will have a look at the squad and see who comes out of this game.

"You know, I appreciate the fans want a cup run as well, so we will try and give them that. But yes, I have players now in the squad chomping at the bit- young players who are eager to get back in the frame.

"So we will sit down, next couple of days and come up with a game plan that will ensure that we will get to the fourth round of the FA Cup."

Ex Blackpool player and now Royals player Charlie Adam is looking forward to facing his former club on Saturday.

He said after the Fulham match: "It’s a special game, but it's a game that we will look to win as we want to try and progress and keep the momentum going."

"The FA Cup is special. If we don't apply ourselves  correctly and show the right mentality- it can be a tough afternoon against a team in the League below you."

"I know some of the players and obviously the manager [Simon Grayson], so it's nice to see where they are and I hope they can progress in League One. But listen-  it's all about us, so if we can do the right job and get a win then that will be great."

Blackpool manager Simon Grayson has commented on Reading's good form in his pre-match press conference.

He said: "There seems to be a good togetherness within the squad and they’ve won a good amount of games over the last few weeks."

Head to Head

These two sides have met 40 times over the years in all competitions, with Reading having the better of the head to head record.

The Royals have beaten the Tangerines on 17 occasions. There have been 11 draws between the two sides. And the now League One club have beaten the now Championship club 12 times in all competitions.

The last meeting between these two sides came in the 2014 Championship season, where a Grant Hall own goal meant that Reading escaped from Bloomfield Road with a point on that occasion. 

These two sides have never met in the FA Cup before, so Saturday will be the first FA Cup tie between the two sides. 

Key players to watch out for on both sides

Reading: Sam Baldock

The Reading striker is set to start on Saturday with both Lucas Joao and George Puscas injured.

So far this season, Sam Baldock has scored two goals in the Championship. He recently sustained a knee injury against Derby County, but returned from the bench at the weekend against Fulham where he played the last 15 minutes.

Prior to picking up the injury, the 30-year-old started picking up good form for the Royals and played well in a front two with other Reading striker Lucas Joao.

So If Blackpool are able to cut the supply to Baldock, then they will be in with a good chance of causing an upset on FA Cup weekend. 

Blackpool: Armand Gnanduillet

The Ivorian striker has been in red hot form for the Tangerines this season and will be vital if Blackpool are going to cause an upset against the Royals at the weekend.

The 27-year-old has scored 12 goals so far in League One this season including one in Blackpool's 2-1 defeat away to Rotherham on New Years Day. 

Reading keep him quiet- then the chances are that Blackpool will struggle to score goals and consequently meaning that the Berskhire side are likely to win the game.