Reading vs Brentford preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
READING, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: Josh Laurent and Andy Yiadom of Reading FC celebrate after their side wins 3-1 during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and AFC Bournemouth at Madejski Stadium on January 29, 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 Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

Veljko Paunovic's Reading are looking to end Brentford's 20 match unbeaten run on Wednesday, and extend theirs to eight in the process.

Last time out, the hosts drew 0-0 with Michael O'Neil's Stoke City in the Potteries.

They are unbeaten in 2021, with three wins and two draws.

Meanwhile, Brentford have not lost since October.

Thomas Frank's side eased past Middlesbrough  4-1 on Saturday with goals from Ivan Toney, Mathias Jensen and Vitaly Janelt after falling behind to a David Raya own goal.

Team news

Reading are set to remain with captain Liam Moore and Romanian striker George Puscas for at least one more week.

However former long-term absentees Andy Yiadom and Yakou Meite have both featured in the previous matches over recent weeks and so will be in contention to start.

For the visitors, Christian Nørgaard and Shandon Baptiste are expected to be missing.

Predicted lineups

Reading:

Rafael; Holmes; McIntyre; Morrison; Richards; Laurent; Rinohmota; Meite; Swift; Ejaria; Joao.


Brentford:

Raya; Dalsgaard; Pinnock; Sørensen; Henry; Jensen; Janelt; Dasilva; Fosu-Henry; Toney; Mbeumo.

Ones to watch

The battle of two of the three top scorers, Lucas Joao and Toney, are most definitely the ones to watch.

Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Joao has scored 18 goals in all competitions, 15 in 21 league matches.

Meanwhile Toney is the division's top scorer, with 22 league goals.

However as well as both catching the eye going forward, they are both built on strong defences, with Reading having conceded just two in the last five and Brentford six.

 

Previous meeting

Brentford beat Reading 3-1 at the Brentford Community Stadium in December, with a brace from Bryan Mbeumo and a Jensen strike.

Sone Aluko pulled one back for the visitors but the damage was done in the first half.

Reading have failed to beat Brentford since April 2019, losing three straight matches and scoring just one goal.

 

Manager thoughts

Paunovic believes this is one of the most important games in his sides season, but wants to avoid putting extra pressure on his players' shoulders.

Speaking to the club website, he said:

"It’s a very important game of course, one of the most important in the season so far. But we don’t want to put that pressure on us.

"So while we are aware of the time of the season we are in – it’s a hard stretch of games coming up and the pressure is building, but we’re not going to put extra pressure on our shoulders.

"So we will give our all to try to win that game.

“We remain disciplined towards what we control. We look for improvement, we look to keep our minds on ourselves and our environment, wherever we can get better, look to upgrade our game. That’s the main focus for us."

Meanwhile, Bees boss Frank is full of praise for his sides' character after extending their unbeaten run into a fourth month, but still insists on improving.

Speaking to the club YouTube after Saturday's win on Teeside, he said:

"We need to not concede a goal after two minutes and we need to not concede after two minutes against Bristol City but the way we turned it around, the confidence the players are playing with, we just brushed it off and continued, that tells a lot about this team.

We need to continue improving because we need to defend better, we gave too much away today, but the positive is winning."

 

How to watch

The game is not on Sky Sports, but will be available on iFollow for £10.

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