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Apr 5, 2014 at 3pm UK at The Valley
CharltonCharlton Athletic
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Williams (73')

Preview: Charlton Athletic vs. Reading

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship meeting between relegation-threatened Charlton Athletic and playoff-chasing Reading.

Two teams in need of a win for very different reasons go head to head on Saturday as Charlton Athletic host Reading at The Valley.

The hosts have given their chances of survival a big boost with three wins in their last five games, leaving them three points clear of the drop with games in hand over the teams below them.

However, despite their improvement under new boss Jose Riga, they will still be looking cautiously over their shoulders, particularly with Barnsley beginning to find a bit of form.

The Addicks are currently three points clear of Barnsley but only have one game in hand over the Tykes compared to two games in hand over the rest of the teams around them.

A win on Saturday would be priceless for the club, particularly if those below them fail to pick up three points, but goals have been hard to come by all season for the Addicks. They are the league's lowest scorers with a measly 27 from their 37 games, while they have not scored more than one goal in a game since Boxing Day.

A third 1-0 win in his fifth home game in charge would suit Riga just fine, however. Only Burnley have beaten or scored against Charlton at The Valley during his short tenure so far, with defensive solidity at home a notable improvement under the Belgian boss.

He has no new injury concerns to worry about for the weekend, with Jonathan Obika expected to lead the line and midweek match winner Reza Ghoochannejhad on the wing.

Reading, meanwhile, remain the envy of a number of clubs as they occupy the final playoff position despite back-to-back slip-ups against Barnsley and Huddersfield Town.

The Royals were let off by the stuttering form of their fellow playoff contenders, but Nigel Adkins will be fully aware that they can't afford to drop too many more points in the final seven games of the season.

Consistency has been a problem for Reading in recent weeks having not won consecutive matches since January/February, yet they remain two points clear of Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town immediately below them.

Unusually, Reading have been better on their travels this season than they have at home, picking up 31 points on the road compared to 29 at the Madejski. That tally has been helped largely by four wins and one draw from their last five and just one defeat in their last seven.

Adkins could bring Adam Le Fondre back into the starting lineup, while Danny Guthrie is also available again following suspension. Jem Karacan, Mikele Leigertwood, Wayne Bridge and Sean Morrison are still absent through injury, although the latter two are nearing returns.

Recent form

Charlton: DWLWLW

Reading: DWDWLD

Possible starting lineups

Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Morrison, Dervite, Wiggins; Ajdarevic, Jackson, Poyet, Cousins, Ghoochanneijhad; Obika

Reading: McCarthy; Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Obita; McCleary, Guthrie, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu; Pogrebynak, Le Fondre

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Oscar Garcia of Brighton looks on during the FA Cup fifth round match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Hull City at Amex Stadium on February 17, 2014
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United StatesUnited States14161141
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10141034
Great BritainGreat Britain69924
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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