Nottingham Forest vs Reading preview: How to watch, team news, kick-off time, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Sammy Ameobi of Nottingham Forest battles for the ball with Josh Laurent of Reading during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Nottingham Forest at the Madejski Stadium, Reading on Saturday 5th December 2020. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest welcome inform Reading to the City Ground on Saturday with both sides needing three points but for different reasons. 

The Reds are currently occupying 17th place, whilst the Royals sit pretty in fifth place just six points off the top two. 

Forest will be looking to return to winning ways after falling to a 1-0 defeat away to second placed Watford, whilst Reading beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 to make it three wins on the spin. 

Team news

Left-back Yuri Ribeiro was absent when Forest lost against Watford last weekend, but should replace Gaetan Bong for the visit of Reading.

A couple of other changes are on the cards for the home side with defensive midfielder Cafu and winger Joe Lolley both pushing for recalls.

Despite returning to training, Lewis Grabban, Harry Arter and Scott Mckenna will all miss out of Saturday's game.

Veljko Paunovic is expected to name an unchanged starting XI for the trip to the City Ground, with Tom McIntyre keeping his place as the deepest of the midfield diamond.

Ovie Ejaria, Lewis Gibson and Yakou Meite all have outside chances of featuring this weekend after returning to training this week. 

The Royals will definitely be without John Swift, Andy Rinohmota and Michael Morrison with the trio all still injured.

Predicted lineups

Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): 

Samba; Christie, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro, Cafu, Garner, Knockaert, Krovinovic, Lolley, Murray. 

Reading (4-3-2-1): 

Rafael; Yiadom, Moore, Holmes, Richards, Semedo, McIntyre, Laurent, Olise, Puscas, Joao. 

Ones to watch

Anthony Knockaert - Nottingham Forest 

Since joining on loan from Fulham, Anthony Knockaert has brought fresh life into the Forest front line. He joined a side who scored just once in their first four league games, and despite not scoring frequently he has still impacted massively. Being small and nimble, allows him to drop a shoulder and beat defenders and either strike on goal or set up a team mate. 

This weekend he is coming up against one of the best young full backs in England in the form of Omar Richards. It will be a good battle between the pair and interesting to see who comes out on top. 

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Lucas Joao - Reading 

Many Reading fans questioned the signing of the Portugese striker when he joined for £6 million back in 2019, but he starting show his worth. This season he has bullied centre halves with his brute strength and power which have contributing to him scoring 18 times in the league this season.

He has brilliant technique on both feet and is also very dominant in the air which could prove to be a key asset against a Forest side who are known for defensive errors. 

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Previous meetings

The last meetings between the two sides was in December with the Royals running out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Joao and Morrison. Over the last five meetings, it is Reading who have the upper hand with two victories compared to the one of Forest which came back in August 2018. The last encounter at the City Ground finished 1-1 after Sam Baldock scored a late equaliser for the visitors after Grabban had put the Reds ahead. 

Last time out... 

How to watch

Due to the current national lockdown, no fans will be in attendance at the City Ground. This means the game is available on iFollow through Forest and Reading's respective club websites, with passes being priced at £10. 

The game kicks off at 15:00 BST on Saturday 13 March 2021.

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