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Paul Clement issues his verdict ahead of Reading’s massive clash with Sunderland



Paul Clement knows that his side must beat Sunderland as they attempt to avoid relegation.

Reading have a five-point gap on Barnsley in the last relegation spot, but the Tykes have a game in hand against Nottingham Forest.

Out of the three teams just below them, Barnsley and Bolton play each other this weekend and Birmingham play Wolves.

Therefore, the Royals need to take advantage of this because a win against Sunderland guarantees that they at least increase the gap with one of the teams.

Here’s what Clement had to say about the game, according to the official Reading site: “This is the biggest game of our season.”

If Sunderland don’t get a result themselves, it’ll be really difficult for them.  And it’s vital for us to get a positive result again, and if we do, it puts us in a really good situation.”

If you don’t mentally prepare for Sunderland at their best, you’re in danger.  They went to Derby recently, a team that are pushing for promotion, and they beat them 4-1.  So we have to expect a really good Sunderland side to come here, and one that will push for the win – they know they have to win this game.

The Verdict

This is a tough game for Reading because of Sunderland’s desperate need for points which means they will be willing to take risks. However, an intelligent approach from the Royals will allow them to come away with three points.

Clement understands the importance of making his players realise how tough this clash will be in order to avoid underestimating them. He’s likely to set up his team with a defensive focus in order to try and catch the Black Cats on the break when they commit players forward and leave openings for Reading to exploit.