Reading vs Stoke City preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Steven Fletcher of Stoke City celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Nick Powell of Stoke City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Stoke City at Vicarage Road, Watford on Wednesday 4th November 2020. (Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Reading are hoping to return to winning ways following two successive defeats.

On Wednesday, the Royals  resoundingly lost 3-0 to Alex Neil's Preston North End.

Meanwhile Michael O'Neil's Stoke City lost 3-2 to Watford in a game full of controversial decisions.

Team news

Reading are likely to be without Liam Moore and Yakou Meite, but Ovie Ejaria is close to a return following a muscle injury which had ruled him out of the previous two fixures.

Long-term absentee Andy Yiadom made a brief substitute appearance midweek and so could be recalled ahead of Tomas Esteves.

Stoke are expected to name an unchanged side from the midweek defeat at Vicarage Road.

Predicted lineups

Reading:
Cabral; Yiadom, Morrison, McIntyre, Richards; Rinomhota, Laurent; Olise; Ejaria, Semedo; Joao

Stoke City:
Gunn; Batth, Souttar, Fox; Smith, Mikel, Thompson, McClean; Powell; Campbell, Fletcher.

Ones to watch

Going forward, Lucas Joao remains the danger man, with six goals from nine matches.

Also, despite conceding three goals, Rafael Cabral looked back to his best in midweek despite having a mistake-ridden match the previous weekend against Coventry City.

The former Brazil international saved a Daniel Johnson penalty and made a string of fine saves in the second half to prevent more damage.

For the visitors, forward Tyrese Campbell has contributed to seven goals in nine matches with seven assists and two goals.

Last meeting

In the two seasons since Stoke have returned to the second tier, the sides have drawn all four of their meetings, with the two at the Bet365 Stadium failing to produce a goal.

The last meeting was a 1-1 draw in Berkshire after the COVID-19 restart.

Joao opened the scoring but Nick Powell equalised in the final minute of stoppage time at the end of the match.

Manager's thoughts

Serbian Veljko Paunovic is urging his players to go back to basics in search for a first win in three.

Speaking to club media, he said:

"We have to go back to basics, go back to what made us win games consistently," he continued.

"It is true that we are suffering an accumulation of injuries, but we don't make excuses. We know this team is good enough to win at the weekend. 

"We want to be strong in defence and clinical in attack. We need to recover those basics as soon as possible."

Former Northern Ireland manager O'Neil is confident his side can challenge near the top of the table .

Speaking to the media ahead of a trip to the Royal County, he said:

“We want to do as well as we can but we have to remember that 12 months ago we were bottom.

“We have made progress and what we have shown is that we are a match for teams that we believe are going to compete at the top end of the league.

“It’s very difficult to go back to back away in the Championship as this week is going to be for us but that’s the way the games have come out and we have to do everything possible to try to win at Reading.”

How to watch

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event from 12pm, therefore it is unable to be purchased on iFollow for those living in the UK.

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