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Mar 8, 2014 at 3pm UK at Falmer Stadium
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
Gunter (17' og.)
FT(HT: 1-0)
Drenthe (64')

Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Reading

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship encounter between playoff rivals Brighton and Reading at the Amex Stadium.

Two Championship playoff candidates will go head to head on Saturday as Brighton & Hove Albion host Reading at the Amex Stadium.

Just one place and two points separate the teams in the table at the moment, with the Royals sitting in seventh and Brighton in eighth.

However, the Seagulls do have a game in hand over their opponents on Saturday, and a victory this weekend would put them in the commanding position of being above them in the league having played fewer matches.

Brighton are just three points off the top six after they ended a three-match winless streak in all competitions with a 1-0 victory away to struggling Millwall last weekend.

Their most recent match against a direct playoff rival ended in disappointment as they lost 2-1 at home to Wigan last month, but they have won the other three of their last four league games.

Brighton's defensive record has been impressive this season, with only Burnley and Queens Park Rangers conceding fewer goals, but it is at the other end where they have experienced problems.

They have scored just 34 times in their 32 matches so far this season, the lowest tally of any team outside the league's bottom six, while they have also failed to score more than once in any of their last eight games.

The Seagulls have been strong at home this season, and that defeat to Wigan was their first in their last nine outings at the Amex in all competitions.

Manager Oscar Garcia could hand a home debut to loanee signing Jesse Lingard, but he will be without Andrew Crofts for the rest of the season while Craig Mackail-Smith has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury.

Reading, meanwhile, have now been displaced in the playoff places by in-form Wigan after an inconsistent spell of results that has seen them pick up just one win in their last four games.

That victory was an impressive 3-1 win away to Queens Park Rangers, but home defeats to Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers, as well as a draw against eight-man Yeovil in their last outing, have seen them slip down the table.

Another draw this weekend would be enough for them to return into the playoff places with Wigan not in action, but it could only be a temporary fix as the Latics would then have two games in hand over Nigel Adkins's men.

The Royals have been impressive away from home recently, however, winning their last two games on their travels and scoring three goals in both of those matches.

Despite their disappointing draw against Yeovil last time out, Reading could name an unchanged side, with Jason Roberts, Jem Karacan, Jobi McAnuff, Wayne Bridge, Mikele Leigertwood and Sean Morrison all struggling with injuries.

Recent form

Brighton: WWDLLW

Reading: WWLWLD

Possible starting lineups

Brighton: Kuszczak; Bruno, Upson, Greer, Ward; Stephens, Andrews; Lopez, Lingard, Orlandi; Ulloa

Reading: McCarthy; Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Obita; McCleary, Akpan, Williams, Robson-Kanu; Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Nigel Adkins, manager of Reading, shouts instructions from the touchline on April 28, 2013
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Preview: Reading vs. Yeovil

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

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