Preston North End vs Reading preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
READING, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Lucas Joao of Reading scores their side's first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Coventry City at Madejski Stadium on January 19, 2021 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 Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Reading will be looking to make it six league matches unbeaten after Tuesday's 3-0 win over Coventry City.

Lucas Joao, John Swift and Andy Rinohmota eased the hosts the victory at the Madejski.

Preston North End also picked up three points in midweek courtesy of a 1-0 win over Birmingham City at St. Andrews.

Former Swansea City and Celtic forward Scott Sinclair notched his eighth league goal of the season.

Team news

Alex Neil's hosts will remain without long-term absentees Louis Moult, Patrick Bauer and Declan Rudd.

The visitors may be without young star Michael Olise after he was taken off with a shoulder injury on Tuesday.

Long-term absentees Yakou Meite, Liam Moore, George Puscas; Andy Yiadom and Felipe Araruna are expected to be returning within the coming month.

Predicted line-ups


Preston:

Iverson; Browne; Huntington; Davies; Hughes; Whiteman; Ledson; Sinclair; Molumby; Barkhuizen; Jakobson.


Reading:

Rafeal; Holmes; McIntyre; Morrison; Richards; Rinohmota; Laurent; Ejaria; Swift; Aluko; Joao.

Ones to Watch

Experienced Sinclair has been vital for the Lancastrian outfit this season, comfortably sitting top of the club scoring charts.

A player Reading fans know well, he famously notched a hattrick against the Royals in the 2011 Championship play-off final for Swansea City.

For Veljko Paunovic, Joao remains on a hot streak after scoring seven in seven matches either side of an injury lay-off. 

He averages a goal contribution every 72 minutes, better than anyone else in the top four leagues of English football.

 

Previous meeting

Dubbed 'Revenge Month' by Paunovic, Reading's four fixtures are all against sides that beat the Royals in the first half of the campaign.

Preston comfortably won 3-0 in Berkshire, with goals from Sinclair, Brad Potts and Emil Riis Jakobson.

Overall the sides have met 62 times, with 25 wins apiece heading into Sunday's fixture.

Manager thoughts

Former Norwich City manager Neil believes his side were flattered by the score-line the last time these two met in November, and insists it is going to be an incredibly tough match for his side.

Speaking to the club website, he said:

"I am not sure it was a 3-0 game. We played well, were a threat and got our goals at the right times, but equally they had some chances in the game.

"This one is going to be tough. They have got some players back who weren’t available at that point, which makes them stronger, so it is going to be a tough match.

“They are a good side, aren’t they? They have spent a lot of money on a lot of players. They have got a lot of guys who can’t even get into the team, in particular, the attacking options that they have are a big, big threat and you could see that the other night against Coventry, because Coventry played well and lost 3-0.”

Meanwhile Serbian Paunovic is calling on his players to refocus after their comfortable win in midweek, and prepare fully for Sunday's test. 

Speaking to the club website, he said:

"Now we focus – and I know that I am repeating myself here as it is the same each time – but we have to recover from our big effort in midweek and prepare ourselves for another tough game.

“It is an opponent that beat us in the past. So it’s our time to see if we are capable of again putting in another good performance and get a win.”

How to watch

The game is being showed live on Sky Sports Football on Sunday from 12pm, and so will be unavailable on iFollow.

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