Reading vs Stoke City preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Reading have endured a torrid campaign and are embroiled in a relegation battle as the season begins to reach its culmination. 

Paul Ince has been in charge since mid-February and has managed to keep the Royals hovering above the drop zone with key wins over Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers.

Their last game saw them snatch a vital point at relegation-rivals Barnsley after a late Josh Laurent equaliser.

They are currently 21st in the table, five points away from the bottom three.

Stoke City's campaign has fallen away in recent months, and the Potters now have little to play for but pride in their final seven games of the season.

Michael O'Neill's side has been in good form recently, with two consecutive wins after a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at the weekend courtesy of a John Egan own-goal.

The Potters sit in 13th position in the Championship table, and are unlikely to trouble the play-offs at this late stage of the season.

  • Team news

Reading

The Royals are without on-loan winger Tom Ince, with EFL rules meaning he is unable to play against his parent club unless permission is given otherwise, which Stoke have not given. 

Alen Halilovic is sidelined with a thigh injury he sustained last week.

Andy Rinomhota (knee) and Yakou Meite (ankle) are both set to miss the remainder of the season after picking up injuries in recent weeks.

Stoke City

Talismanic midfielder Lewis Baker is back in contention for the trip south after missing Stoke's victory over Sheffield United at the weekend with a knee injury.

Winger Jaden Philogene-Bidace (knee) is a doubt for the game, whilst Nick Powell remains sidelined with a quad injury.

Harry Souttar remains out for the rest of the season.

  • Predicted lineups

Reading (4-2-3-1)

Nyland; Yiadom, Morrison, Holmes, McIntyre; Laurent, Drinkwater; Hoilett, Swift, Ejaria; Joao.

Stoke City (4-3-3)

Bonham; Wilmot, Jagielka, Harwood-Bellis, Tymon; Allen, Baker, Thompson; Brown, Maja, Campbell.

  • Ones to watch

Lucas Joao

Joao is a name well-known to Championship fans, with this now his seventh season in the league with his third club. The striker scored 29 goals in 127 games for Sheffield Wednesday between 2015 and 2019, and moved to Reading for an undisclosed fee that summer.

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Despite an injury-ridden time at the Madejski Stadium, he has still managed to net 34 goals in 76 games for the Royals, with six so far this season in 17 league games. 

Jacob Brown

23-year-old Brown is enjoying the best season of his career so far, with 11 goals and five assists in all competitions this campaign. He has been deployed in a striker role, rather than as a winger, and his game has benefitted massively from that change. 

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Brown began his career at Barnsley and moved to the Potters in 2020, initially coming under scrutiny for his poor form in front of goal. He has managed to prove many of his doubters wrong this time around, with Steve Clarke rewarding him with a debut for Scotland in November. He also won Stoke's Player of the Month award for October.

  • Previous meetings

The reverse fixture saw Stoke run out 3-2 winners on the opening day of the season, with goals from Nick Powell, Jacob Brown and a last gasp Sam Surridge winner.

Reading are winless in nine league games against the Potters (D6, L3) since a 3-1 win in April 2006.

Stoke are looking to complete the league double over their opponents for the first time since 1992/93.

  • How to watch

The game kicks off at 20:00 BST on Tuesday April 5.

It is not available to watch in the UK but overseas supporters can purchase a live stream of the game via either club website.

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