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Apr 5, 2021 at 3pm UK
DerbyDerby County
Olise (45+1'), Puscas (57'), Joao (84')
Moore (50'), Laurent (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Lawrence (79')

Preview: Reading vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Reading vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's Championship clash between Reading and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Reading play host to Derby County on Monday afternoon potentially requiring all three points to remain in the Championship playoff positions.

Meanwhile, Derby head into this contest sitting eight points clear of the relegation zone courtesy of their 2-0 win over Luton Town.

Match preview

Still sitting in the top six with seven matches remaining, Veljko Paunovic will be satisfied with Reading's position heading into the Championship run-in.

Nevertheless, the Royals have now gone four games without a win, a period which cannot be prolonged if they want to earn a return to the Premier League.

Having conceded a lead against Barnsley on Friday evening in a game which also saw Lucas Joao miss an open goal, there will be frustration within the Reading camp ahead of their meeting with the Rams.

The fixtures also get no easier for this squad with games at Norwich City and Watford to be played either side of a home fixture against Swansea City.

On a positive note, Reading have scored in their last seven matches, goals which have been required with four games passing by without a clean sheet.

As far as Derby are concerned, Wayne Rooney breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as his side comfortably got the better of mid-table Luton Town.

Seven outings without success had put the East Midlands outfit under pressure in their battle to avoid a drop, particularly with Rotherham United still possessing four games in hand.

Only returning 43 points from 39 fixtures means that there is still much work ahead to avoid dropping into the third tier, but Rooney will at least feel content that Derby have established some distance between themselves and the chasing pack.

Lee Gregory has netted in his last two appearances for the club, the Stoke City loanee now earning a spot in the side ahead of Colin Kazim-Richards.

Reading Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D

Derby County Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Michael Morrison is expected to miss out for Reading after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury at Oakwell.

Thomas Holmes should deputise for the veteran in the centre of defence, while Paunovic must decide whether to drop Joao on the back of a return of just one goal in nine outings.

Omar Richards, Alfa Semedo and George Puscas are all options for the Royals if Paunovic wants to introduce some fresh legs.

Martyn Waghorn and Gregory are unlikely to feature for Derby after suffering hamstring injuries versus Luton.

Kamil Jozwiak and Kazim-Richards are in line to feature for the visitors, with Lee Buchanan an alternative to Tom Lawrence at left wing-back.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Yiadom, Holmes, Moore, Gibson; Rinomhota, Laurent; Meite, Olise, Ejaria; Joao

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Wisdom, Clarke, Forsyth; Byrne, Bird, Shinnie, Buchanan; Sibley, Jozwiak; Kazim-Richards

We say: Reading 2-1 Derby County

Having defeated Luton on Good Friday, Rooney and his squad will feel that they can perform with an extra degree of freedom. However, that may work against them, and we feel that the Royals have enough quality in the final third to edge this contest by the odd goal in three.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data

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