Reading vs Rotherham United preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted line-ups and ones to watch
READING, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Lucas Joao of Reading celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Wycombe Wanderers at Madejski Stadium on October 20, 2020 in Reading, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Veljko Paunovic remains unbeaten in the Championship as his Reading side sit top of the table for the first time since 2012.

On Tuesday, a Lucas Joao goal helped the team scrape past pointless Wycombe Wanderers.

Dan Barlaser opened the scoring for Paul Warne's Rotherham United against Nottingham Forest, however a late Sammy Ameobi goal meant that the South-Yorkshire side left the City Ground with just a point.

This sees the side sat 16th in the Championship, with one win and three draws from six games.

Team news

The hosts will still be without John Swift, Andy Yiadom and Felipe Araruna, who all have long-term knocks.

Tom Holmes was replaced at right-back by Porto loanee Tomas Esteves on Tuesday, so he could potentially step in for his first start in a Reading shirt on Saturday.

Striker Sam Baldock picked up a calf injury and will be out until the international break.

For the visitors, Shaun McDonald is fit and ready to start if required.

Clark Robertson fractured a metatarsal against Norwich City and will be out for 12 weeks.

Jamal Blackman is a doubt after taking a blow to the ankle in training.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Rafael; Esteves, Morrison, Moore, Richards; Laurent, Rinomhota; Meite, Olise, Ejaria; Joao

Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Blackman; Harding, Ihiekwe, Wood, Mattock; Crooks, S. MacDonald, Barlaser; Wiles, Ladapo, Sadlier

Ones to watch

Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Joao continued his hot vein of form as he scored his sixth goal of the season against the Chairboys on Tuesday, ensuring he keeps Romanian George Puscas out of the Royals side.

Similarly, Ovie Ejaria and Michael Olise continue to flourish in the midfield three behind the Portuguese centre-forward.

For the visitors, it is former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Kieran Sadlier who is the key cog in Warne's team. He has been involved in over two-thirds of the side's goals.

Previous meeting

With the away side having spent last season in League One, the last meeting of the two was back in February 2019.

Ejaria finished a fantastic team goal before current West Brom defender Semi Ajayi powered home an equaliser.

The earlier meeting between the two that season, in December 2018, also finished 1-1.

Sam Baldock opened the scoring but Joe Mattock equalised in stoppage time to tie the game.

Overall the two sides have met 47 times with 21 wins for Reading, 16 draws and 10 Rotherham wins.

Managers' thoughts

Serbian Paunovic is expecting another tough match against Rotherham, and is calling on his entire squad to be ready for the fight

Talking to the club website ahead of the match, he said:

“It’s going to be another hard, hard game. Everyone is going to be needed. We have a vision for our coming games in the next few weeks and on the road, but the focus is all on the next game.

“We will be ready for them. We have a couple of days to recover. It is important for our spirit and our mentality to beat Wycombe, and we know it will be hard going forward. But we will be ready.”

Similarly, Warne is confident in his side and hopes they can cause a shock to the league leaders.

Speaking to the club website, he said:

"Reading have a blueprint of how they like to play football, they are really good athletes and really good footballers. They make the pitch big and ask a lot of questions of you. They’ve got some pace, power and goals up top.

“They are in good form and are full of confidence, they had a potentially tricky game at home to Wycombe and won that, so we know we’ll be playing against a really in-form team. Our lads are confident though and I think we’re in form as well. We’ll go into the game with belief and hopefully we’ll be able to come back with a good result.”

How to watch

The game can be purchased via either of the club websites for £10, with the fixture being streamed live on iFollow.

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