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Preview: Rovers v Reading

A look ahead to this evening's game against the Royals at Ewood Park

27 October 2020

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Rovers return to Ewood Park this evening with a tricky test against table-topping Reading on the agenda for Tony Mowbray's men.

Rovers come into the clash on the back of an excellent 4-0 win against Coventry City at St Andrew's at the weekend, and will be in confident mood this evening.

The Royals have had a near perfect start to the season having won six and drawn once in their opening seven games.

In terms of injuries, Mowbray has a slight doubt over the fitness of Thomas Kaminski and Daniel Ayala for tonight's encounter.

Kaminski picked up a minor groin strain in the weekend win and is touch-and-go to feature as he looks to record back-to-back clean sheets.

Should the Belgian not make it, Aynsley Pears could be in line for a Rovers debut after arriving from Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee on deadline day.

For Ayala, he was left out at the weekend with a groin knock suffered at Watford last midweek, and may not be risked.

Joe Rankin-Costello will be aiming to keep his place in the side after impressing on Saturday, whilst Barry Douglas came through that win over Coventry unscathed and is likely to continue in the starting XI.

The last meeting between the two sides came a few months ago, with Rovers earning a 4-3 home win over the Royals thanks to goals from Adam Armstrong, Ben Brereton, Joe Rothwell and a late Sam Gallagher header.

It's expected to be tighter this time around, with Reading owning the meanest defence in the division having conceded only one goal so far this term.

And ahead of this evening's Championship battle, Paunovic is preparing his side for a real battle against a free-scoring Rovers outfit.

"We expect it to be our toughest test yet," Paunovic said.

"They play good football, they have an experienced coach with a fantastic record in the league and I have heard great things about him.

"So with all that I expect a very challenging game – it’s not going to be easy. But what game was easy for us?

"We have to manage the load on the players, the minutes that the guys are playing. And we have a plan for everyone - how to engage everyone, keep everyone connected. And you have to have everyone ready."

Kick-off is at 7.45pm tonight, and fans can catch all the action by purchasing a match pass or following the coverage across our social media channels.

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