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Jul 4, 2020 at 3pm UK at Kenilworth Road Stadium
LutonLuton Town
FT(HT: 0-3)
Meite (17', 18', 35', 62'), Puscas (57')
Pele (15')

Preview: Luton Town vs. Reading – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Luton Town and Reading, including team news and predicted lineups.

Luton Town's fight for Championship survival continues on Saturday afternoon as they welcome Reading to Kenilworth Road for their 41st league match of the season.

Reading, meanwhile, are at risk of being dragged into a relegation scrap as they search for their first three points since the English second tier returned to action.

Match preview

Swansea City and Luton Town players clash during a Championship clash on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Luton's unbeaten run in the Championship has now stretched to six games as they held promotion-chasing Leeds United to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road on Tuesday.

Luton struck first through substitute Harry Cornick before Stuart Dallas equalised for the home side, and while Luton rightly deserve a tremendous amount of credit for taking a point from that fixture against table-toppers, the Hatters remain rooted to the bottom of the table at this late stage of the season.

Even though Luton are yet to taste defeat since the English second tier resumed, a total of 40 points from as many matches has left them three points adrift of safety with six games remaining.

Failures to convert draws into wins has been the downfall for Nathan Jones's side in recent months, as the Hatters have shared the spoils in four of their last five league matches.

Nevertheless, Luton have shown plenty of fight as the battle to avoid relegation gathers pace, and should Hull City suffer defeat against fellow strugglers Middlesbrough on Thursday, Luton could lift themselves from the foot of the table if other results go their way this weekend.

The Hatters will now be searching for their seventh home win of the season on Saturday, and they have only tasted defeat once in their last six outings on familiar territory.

Reading manager Mark Bowen on February 15, 2020© Reuters

With regards to Reading, the Royals will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat in the second tier following a dampening 3-0 loss to playoff hopefuls Brentford on Tuesday.

Reading now lie 16th in the table after Birmingham City lost by the same scoreline against Huddersfield Town, and the Royals are seven points clear of the bottom three following two defeats and one draw since the restart.

Even though a clash with the Championship's basement side looks on paper to be a comfortable win for the Berkshire outfit, Bowen will certainly not be taking the fixture lightly given Luton's resilience over the past few weeks.

Nevertheless, Reading have several fixtures with sides below them in the table to look forward to following the trip to Luton, with Huddersfield and Charlton Athletic next up for Bowen's side as they look to secure their status as a Championship club.

Reading enjoyed a 3-0 victory over the Hatters when the sides last locked horns in November, with Michael Morrison, Ovie Ejaria and Garath McCleary on target for Bowen's men at the Madejski Stadium.

Luton Town Championship form: WDDDWD

Reading Championship form: LWWDLL
Reading form (all competitions): WLWDLL

Team News

Derby's Tom Lawrence and Reading's Matt Miazga clash on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Luton's Glen Rea suffered a thigh injury during the warm-up against Leeds, and it remains to be seen whether the midfielder will recover in time for the clash with Reading.

Kazenga LuaLua, Brendan Galloway and Eunan O'Kane all remain on the treatment table for the Hatters.

Cornick should return to the starting lineup following his equaliser against Leeds, and his strike partner James Collins is also in line for a recall for Saturday's game.

As far as Reading are concerned, the Royals will have to make do without Matt Miazga as he serves the second of a three-match suspension following his red card against Derby County.

Andy Yiadom and Lucas Joao are not expected to feature for another couple of weeks, and striker George Puscas will be vying for a spot in the starting XI having lost his place to Sam Baldock last time out.

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Pearson, Carter-Vickers, Bradley, Potts; Mpanzu, Cranie, Tunnicliffe; Brown; Cornick, Collins

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Gunter, Moore, Morrison, Obita; Swift, Rinomhota; Meite, Olise, Ejaria; Puscas

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Luton Town 2-1 Reading

This is a difficult one to call. Reading's recent form is nothing to write home about, and Luton have not been known for their goalscoring capabilities despite their unbeaten run. Nevertheless, we are backing the Hatters to scrape a narrow home victory and keep their survival bid well and truly alive.

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Reading manager Mark Bowen on February 15, 2020
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