MX23RW : Friday, September 21 10:24:42
Apr 26, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​The Keepmoat Stadium
DoncasterDoncaster Rovers
1-3
Reading
Coppinger (25')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Le Fondre (63' pen.), Pogrebnyak (86', 90')

Preview: Doncaster Rovers vs. Reading

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship clash between relegation-threatened Doncaster and playoff-chasing Reading.

Reading will go into their match against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat on Saturday as the envy of numerous teams in the Championship table.

The Royals currently occupy the coveted final playoff spot, although it is by no means a done deal just yet, with as many as five teams still capable of displacing them in the top six.

However, victory on Saturday would at least end the hopes of Blackburn Rovers and Bournemouth and could even secure Reading a playoff spot if results elsewhere were to fall fortuitously for them.

No team has made sixth place their own in the latter stages of the season, however, and it is imperative for Nigel Adkins's side that they build upon their 2-0 win over Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

That was a timely three points for the Royals, ending a three-match winless streak and a run of just one victory in six games. Had the other contenders not been in similarly stuttering form, Reading could have already found themselves out of the race.

There are not only still in it, however, they are in the driving seat and know that a perfect end to the season would be enough for them to join Derby County, Queens Park Rangers and most likely Wigan Athletic.

However, they have lost their last two away matches to end a run of six games without defeat on the road, conceding six goals and scoring just the one in the process.

They will need to improve that if they are to beat Doncaster, and Adkins could name an attacking lineup in his attempts to do so. Adam le Fondre, Hal Robson-Kanu and Pavel Pogrebnyak are all in line to start, but Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan are expected to miss the rest of the season.

While Reading are fighting to escape the division, Doncaster are bidding to stay in it as one of seven teams embroiled in a fascinating relegation battle.

One of the bottom three spots could be sewn up by the time they start on Saturday, with Yeovil Town needing a win away to Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday to cling on to the mathematical - if not realistic - possibility of staying up.

It is Blackpool in 22nd who represent the biggest threat to Doncaster, however, with just two points separating the Seasiders from the four teams just above the dotted line.

Paul Dickov's side go into the game in worrying form as well, with Monday's goalless draw against fellow strugglers Millwall handing them their only point from the last 15 available.

Their home form since the turn of the year appeared to have staved off the threat of relegation, but it proved to only be a temporary reprieve and three defeats at the Keepmoat on the bounce have plunged them right back into danger.

However, they have received good news this week with Abdoulaye Meite's red card being overturned, while Billy Sharp could also be fit enough to feature once again.

Recent form

Doncaster: WLLLLD

Reading: DWLDLW

Possible starting lineups

Doncaster: Johnstone; Quinn, McCombe, Tamas, Stevens; Coppinger, Keegan, Furman, Cotterill; Sharp, Brown

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

Sports Mole says: 1-2

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Adam Le Fondre of Reading attacks during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading v Watford at The Madejski Stadium on August 17, 2013
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Result: Reading boost playoff hopes
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Portsmouth86201551020
2Peterborough UnitedPeterborough86112091119
3Barnsley84311551015
4Sunderland8431158715
5Doncaster RoversDoncaster8431136715
6Walsall84311210215
7Charlton AthleticCharlton8422118314
8Fleetwood Town8341136713
9Blackpool834185313
10Accrington StanleyAccrington82511010011
11Luton TownLuton83231010011
12Coventry CityCoventry832367-111
13Rochdale83231316-311
14Burton Albion83141011-110
15Scunthorpe UnitedScunthorpe82421218-610
16AFC Wimbledon8224611-58
17Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury814378-17
18Southend UnitedSouthend8215913-47
19Wycombe WanderersWycombe8143711-47
20Gillingham8215914-57
21Bradford CityBradford8206613-76
22Bristol Rovers8125610-45
23Oxford UnitedOxford Utd8125817-95
24Plymouth ArgylePlymouth8035414-103

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