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Match Previews

Preview: Reading v Rovers

A look ahead to this evening's encounter at the Madejski Stadium

2 March 2021

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Rovers head south looking to return to winning ways against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

The Royals come into this evening's game sitting in fifth place and buoyed by the hard-fought win at Rotherham United at the weekend.

That triumph ensured the Berkshire-based club got themselves back on track following a sticky spell that saw Veljko Paunovic's side suffer four defeats in their five games prior to the trip to Yorkshire.

Rovers will be aiming to earn a first win in their last six games and will also be keen for revenge following Reading's 4-2 win at Ewood Park earlier in the season.

The boss has revealed that there will be no fresh faces returning to the squad, even though both Joe Rankin-Costello and Bradley Johnson are edging closer to a first team spot.

Lewis Holtby and Daniel Ayala remain a couple of weeks away, whilst Jacob Davenport, Scott Wharton and Derrick Williams are long-term absentees.

There are no fresh injury concerns for Reading, with Rovers old boy Lucas Joao expected to lead the line for the hosts.

However, John Swift and Yakou Meite remain absent due to injury and aren't expected to be involved.

Portuguese hitman Joao has 20 goals in all competitions, but hasn't scored in his last three outings, which is his longest drought of the season.

And ahead of the meeting, Paunovic is expecting an entertaining encounter on home turf.

“It’s going to be another great game,” he told the official Reading website.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for us to build our momentum against a great team, like we did earlier this season.

“The diversity and the styles that every team plays and applies in their games are unique in this league.

“This is what makes it so interesting, and such an enriching experience for all of us coaches and players, and everyone who participates here.

“On the other side, we have our tools and our own weapons to play against every team. We have proved that this season many times, so we will prepare again to be competitive and to push towards our goals.”

Kick-off is at 8pm this evening, and fans can catch all the action by purchasing an iFollow Rovers audio pass or by following the coverage across our social media channels.

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