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Preview: Reading vs. Middlesbrough - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship fixture between Reading and Middlesbrough, including team news and predicted lineups.

Middlesbrough travel to the Madejski Stadium to face Reading knowing that victory could put the club on the brink of survival in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Reading play host to the North-East outfit sitting comfortably in mid-table after a recent return of seven points from three matches.

Match preview

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured on June 27, 2020© Reuters

When Neil Warnock replaced Jonathan Woodgate in the Middlesbrough dugout last month, registering six points from his first five games in charge would have been regarded as average at best.

However, despite three defeats coming during that period, away victories at Stoke City and Millwall have put Boro two points clear of 22nd-placed Hull City with three matches remaining.

Although Warnock would have been desperately disappointed with his team's display at home to Bristol City at the weekend, the veteran boss will be placing as much focus on the scenario in front of him as the performances of his players.

Nevertheless, there is an argument that such a poor showing will lead to a stronger response, especially against opponents who have little to play for at this stage of the campaign.

Warnock will also be hoping that Britt Assombalonga can continue his recent scoring run, with three of his nine Championship goals for the season coming from the last four matches.

From Reading's perspective, Mark Bowen will view this contest as another opportunity to further prepare his side for a playoff bid next season.

The Welshman has witnessed his side record two wins and a draw from their last three encounters, a run which has also featured three clean sheets.

While there will be an acknowledgement that such form needs to be produced over a longer period of time, there are undoubtedly signs that the club are moving in the right direction.

Bowen may also relish the part which his players have to play in their closing triple-header with each of their opponents having something to play for at both ends of the table.

Reading Championship form: DLLWDW

Middlesbrough Championship form: LWLLWL

Team News

Hull boss Mark Bowen on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Barring any late fitness issues, Bowen could opt to retain the same starting lineup.

While Liam Moore may potentially come into the team as a defensive midfielder, Matt Miazga is expected to remain among the replacements.

With Middlesbrough's fate still in their own hands, Warnock may be prepared to stick with a 3-5-2 formation.

However, changes in personnel are likely, with Lewis Wing seemingly in line to take the place of George Saville.

Patrick Roberts may return to the side if Warnock decides on a more adventurous strategy.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Osho, Morrison, McIntyre, Blackett; Pele, Rinomhota, Swift; Meite, Olise, Puscas

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Stojanovic; Spence, Fry, Shotton, Friend, Johnson; McNair, Howson, Wing; Fletcher, Assombalonga

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We say: Reading 1-1 Middlesbrough

While Reading have been performing well with little pressure on their shoulders, we cannot help but think that Boro will respond after their poor performance at the weekend. With that in mind, expect a draw at the Madejski Stadium, potentially courtesy of a late equaliser from the visitors.


Who will win Tuesday's Championship clash between Reading and Middlesbrough?

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Millwall boss Gary Rowett on February 15, 2020
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