Bristol City head to the Madejski Stadium to face Reading tomorrow knowing that winning by a two-goal margin would put them top of the Championship, even if just for a few hours.
The Robins and the Royals both shot out of the blocks at the start of the 2020/21 campaign but while Dean Holden’s men have recovered from their little wobble, Saturday’s hosts are searching for their first win since October.
Reading boss Veljko Paunovićw clearly has quality in his side and players that can hurt City, after all they’re in the top six for a reason, so Holden will want to ensure he has a full-strength squad available to him tomorrow.
The Robins manager could be without captain Tomas Kalas, who missed the draw with Watford in midweek with a calf injury. The Czech Republic international could return for tomorrow’s game but Holden told the Bristol Post on Wednesday that it was touch and go.
Should the skipper miss out, Adrian Mariappa could be in line to make his debut for the Robins – though after a strong performance from Tommy Rowe, Taylor Moore, and Zak Vyner against the Hornets he may look to stick with that trio.
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Missing midfield duo Liam Walsh and Joe Williams will not be available either as it was revealed earlier this week that neither player would return until after Christmas.
They join Nathan Baker, Alfie Mawson, and Steven Sessegnon on the list of long-term absentees, while Andreas Weimann looks unlikely to be back this season as he continues to recover from the knee surgery he had last month.
Han-Noah Massengo was back in the squad for the game against Watford on Wednesday but it is unclear whether Tyreeq Bakinson’s absence will continue on Saturday.