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Preview: Leeds United vs. Reading - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Leeds United vs. Reading - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:390287: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Leeds United and Reading, including team news and predicted lineups.

Leeds United will be looking to make it back-to-back Championship victories when they welcome Reading to Elland Road on Saturday afternoon.

The Whites, who remain second in the table, picked up three much-needed points against Bristol City last weekend, while Reading impressively won 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday in their last match.

Match preview

There was huge pressure on Leeds to beat Bristol City last weekend, and a first-half goal from Luke Ayling proved enough for Marcelo Bielsa's side to record just their second league victory of 2020.

The Whites entered last weekend's match off the back of a 1-1 draw at Brentford, and the two positive results have left them second in the table, three points clear of third-placed Fulham.

Bielsa's side are also only four points off leaders West Bromwich Albion, showing that first position is still very much open for the team if they can put together a consistent run of results.

Both Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic have won at Elland Road since the turn of the year, though, while Millwall scored twice in a 3-2 loss at the end of last month.

The fact that Reading will enter this match off the back of such a strong performance last weekend puts even more pressure on Leeds, who will be desperate to right the wrongs from the 2018-19 campaign.

Reading actually finished third in the Championship at the end of the 2016-17 campaign but have posted 20th in their last two seasons at this level. It has been another inconsistent term for the Royals, although they are 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

The table suggests that the club will not have any relegation fears in the final months of the season, and they are actually only six points off 11th-placed Swansea City on the same number of matches.

Mark Bowen's side will be the underdogs heading into this weekend's contest but as mentioned, recorded a 3-0 victory away to Sheffield Wednesday last weekend. They also only narrowly lost against West Brom on February 12, showing that they can compete against the better sides in the division.

Reading have lost each of their last three Championship matches with Leeds, though, and suffered a 1-0 defeat in the reverse match at the Madejski Stadium back in November.

Leeds Championship form: LWLLDW

Reading Championship form: DLDDLW
Reading form (all competitions): LDWDLW

Team News

Leeds will be without Adam Forshaw for the remainder of the season following hip surgery, but Bielsa otherwise has a fully-fit squad to choose from with Tyler Roberts making the bench last weekend.

Kiko Casilla will again keep his spot between the sticks, and it seems likely that the same XI that started the win over Bristol City will take to the field.

Jean-Kevin Augustin featured for the third time off the bench last time out, but the loan arrival is unlikely to displace Patrick Bamford at the tip of the home side's attack.

Pablo Hernandez is also expected to keep his spot despite recent criticism of the Spaniard's form.

As for Reading, Jordan Obita is facing a late fitness test on an ankle injury, while Pele, Matt Miazga, Tom McIntyre, Lucas Joao, Chris Gunter and Lucas Boye are all unavailable.

Bowen could opt for the same XI that started the three-goal success over the Owls, where centre-forward George Puscas grabbed his eighth Championship goal of the campaign.

Leeds possible starting lineup:
Casilla; Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas; Costa, Hernandez, Phillips, Klich, Harrison; Bamford

Reading possible starting lineup:
Rafael; Yiadom, Morrison, Moore, Richards; Swift, Rinomhota; Meite, Olise, Ejaria; Puscas

We say: Leeds 2-0 Reading

Reading have a number of injury problems heading into the match, but Leeds are in fairly good shape at the moment. The Whites have been much better in their last two fixtures after a tough period, and we expect them to pick up another three important points on Saturday afternoon.

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last updated article - 2020-02-20 19:25:02:
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1Leeds UnitedLeeds37218856302671
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom371913564372770
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest371612948381060
6Preston North EndPreston37168135045556
7Bristol City371510125153-255
9Cardiff CityCardiff37131595250254
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn371411125245753
11Swansea CitySwansea371314104645153
12Derby CountyDerby371312124949051
13Queens Park RangersQPR37148155862-450
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds37139154649-348
16Birmingham CityBirmingham371211144857-947
17Stoke CityStoke37126194955-642
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield37119174558-1342
20Wigan AthleticWigan371011163850-1241
21Hull City37118184963-1441
22Charlton AthleticCharlton37109184454-1039
23Luton TownLuton37105224371-2835
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