Football League World travel to the Madejski Stadium this evening as Reading play host to Lee Johnson’s Bristol City in the Sky Bet Championship.
Both teams come into the fixture on relatively contrasting runs of form, with the Robins winning three of their last four league matches, whilst the home side come into it having won just once in their last four league fixtures.
Dubbed the ‘M4 Derby’ by many, both sides will be looking to secure a valuable three points to help supplement their respective pushes for the play-offs in the Championship.
Bristol City currently sit higher in the higher table in ninth place, having amassed 44 points, two points away from Preston who occupy the last play-off spot as it stands.
After an incredibly underwhelming start to the season, which saw Jose Gomes lose his job at the Royals, Reading have certainly turned a corner in the last few months under the tutelage of Mark Bowen, with the Royals in 15th position.
The Welshman has transformed the Royals from serious relegation candidates to outsider play-off contenders in a remarkable change of fortune for the Berkshire club.
The Royals have a number of injuries for tonight’s clash including Lucas Joao, Andy Yiadom and Matt Miazga, whilst Bristol City have Benik Afobe and Marley Watkins unavailable for tonight’s match.
Sam Baldock could be given the nod to start up-front for the Royals ahead of George Puscas, with the former Bristol City man scoring the equaliser for the Royals against Nottingham Forest in their last Championship outing.
Youngster Michael Olise put in an impressive display for the Royals against Forest last time out, and could be afforded another opportunity to impress the Madejski faithful this evening.
Meanwhile, for Bristol City, it’s expected that the side will not change too much with young midfielder Han-Noah Massengo potentially returning to the Robins XI for tonight.
Of the last five games played between the two sides, Bristol City have the better record with them recording three wins, one draw and one loss against Reading – The Robins ran out 1-0 winners back in October at Ashton Gate, with Famara Diedhiou’s solitary goal in the 12th minute securing the win.
Despite the difference in league position, the bookmakers (Sky Bet) fancy the home side to win the match, with 23/20 currently being offered on Mark Bowen’s side securing victory, with Bristol City priced up at 23/10.