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The Reading dilemmas Veljko Paunovic faces after Stoke City draw

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Reading earned a point on Saturday, as they shared the spoils with play-off chasing Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium. 

It means that Veljko Paunovic’s side are now unbeaten in their last seven league matches heading into their tricky test against Brentford at the Madejski Stadium in midweek, in a game that could go a long way in deciding which team pushes ahead in the race for automatic promotion.

Reading are currently sat fourth in the Championship table, and are eight points clear of seventh-placed Middlesbrough in the second-tier standings.

It was a below-par display from the Royals against Stoke City though, with Reading mustering just one shot on target in the match, with Stoke having the better of the chances on the day.

There are potential dilemmas that Paunovic faces after the stalemate with the Potters, which he’ll have to give some thought to in the coming days.

One of those will be whether to start Yakou Meite for their match against Brentford, with the Ivorian stepping off the substitutes bench in the clash with Michael O’Neill’s side. The winger has been a key member of the Reading squad this season, and has scored six goals as well as being on hand to provide one assist for his team-mates in all competitions.

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But he missed eight matches through injury, which came at a time where John Swift returned to the starting XI from a lengthy injury lay-off. However, now that Meite is deemed fit enough to feature, Paunovic will be facing a dilemma whether to bring the 24-year-old into the starting XI against Brentford on Wednesday.

Another dilemma that the Reading manager is likely to be facing after their draw with Stoke is the options he has available to him in defence.

Tom McIntyre has caught the eye with some strong performances of late in the heart of defence alongside experienced central defender Michael Morrison.

Since moving into the heart of the Reading defence in their last five league matches, McIntyre has been part of a team that have kept three clean sheets in that time, which makes for impressive reading for the young Scotsman.

With Reading captain Liam Moore currently being sidelined through injury, McIntyre has certainly taken the chance presented to him in the starting XI by Veljko Paunovic.

But with Moore recently revealing (pictured below) that he has returned to light training, Paunovic will know that he has a tricky decision to make on whether to bring Moore straight back into the starting XI when deemed fit enough to feature, as you would imagine that he won’t want to make changes to a side that remain unbeaten in their last seven league matches this term.

Reading could move to within three points of the automatic promotion places if they’re to pick up a win over Brentford on Wednesday evening.


Editorial Assistant at Snack Media, writing for Football League World on a regular basis! Sports Journalism graduate from Southampton Solent University.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: The Reading dilemmas Veljko Paunovic faces after Stoke City draw

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