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Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Reading - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship game between Blackburn Rovers and Reading, including team news and predicted lineups.

Blackburn Rovers and Reading meet on Saturday afternoon with little to play for during the closing two games of the Championship campaign.

However, having both suffered defeats in midweek, there will be an eagerness to return to winning ways at Ewood Park.

Match preview

Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray on June 20, 2020© Reuters

Having held promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion to a draw at the weekend, Blackburn would have had high hopes of retaining their slender hopes of earning a spot in the playoffs.

However, the 1-0 defeat at Millwall on Tuesday night has left Rovers seven points adrift with two matches remaining, ending their chances of a return to the Premier League this season.

Despite the disappointment, Tony Mowbray will be keen to keep his players motivated at a time when the club are hoping to achieve their highest placing in the league pyramid since 2015.

For that to be achieved, Blackburn need to overhaul the two-point deficit to Preston North End in ninth place, while also hoping that they can record better results than Bristol City and Derby County respectively.

As far as Reading are concerned, Mark Bowen will have been preparing for next season since the early days of the month, aware that the Royals had realistically done enough to remain the division.

Like their hosts, however, there will be a desire to secure one of their best placings over the past six seasons, with four of the last five being 17th position or lower.

Currently sitting in 14th spot and with nearest challengers Wigan due to be deducted 12 points, there is a window of opportunity for Reading to make headway up the table without much pressure behind them.

There is also just a four-point gap to their next opponents, creating a scenario where Reading can progress to the brink of mid-table with a third victory in five outings.

Blackburn Rovers Championship form: LLLWDL

Reading Championship form: LLWDWL

Team News

Reading defender Matt Miazga pictured in November 2019© Reuters

Reading manager Bowen could take the chance to hand a recall to centre-back Matt Miazga.

Jordan Obita may also come back into the team down the left-hand side, getting the nod over Michael Olise.

Mowbray is expected to make a number of changes to his Blackburn starting lineup, which should include a recall for Ryan Nyambe.

Joe Rothwell is knocking on the door for a spot in midfield, potentially as a replacement for Lewis Travis.

Sam Gallagher could to be provided with another opportunity in the final third.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Walton; Nyambe, Lenihan, Adarabioyo, Rakin-Costello; Rothwell, Johnson, Downing; Samuel, Gallagher, Armstrong

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Osho, Miazga, McIntyre, Blackett; Moore; Meite, Rinomhota, Swift, Obita; Puscas

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We say: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Reading

All things considered, this is a difficult match to call. However, we are favouring the visitors, who have shown more consistency than their hosts in recent weeks.

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West Bromwich Albion players celebrate Ahmed Hegazi's goal against Hull on July 5, 2020
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