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Preview: Reading vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Reading and Queens Park Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Reading will be hoping to cling onto their place in the Championship playoffs when they host Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Results in midweek mean that the Royals have slipped to sixth, while QPR have found their feet too late in the campaign to mount their own playoff push and sit in 12th.

Match preview

George Puscas celebrates scoring for Reading against Blackburn Rovers in the Championship on March 2, 2021© Reuters

Reading were beaten 2-1 by relegation-threatened Birmingham City for the second time this season on Wednesday night, and they saw Barnsley leapfrog them in the table as the Tykes beat Wycombe Wanderers.

It was a first defeat in five games for Veljko Paunovic's side, who are now only two points ahead of seventh-placed Bournemouth.

Paunovic said post-match that "there is no time to lose" and that "we have nine finals" left to play as the race for the top six heats up, with an Easter Friday trip to Barnsley after the international break to come.

Reading have won their last two home games and kept clean sheets in both, having lost their previous three at the Madejski Stadium, while they are the only Championship team yet to draw a home fixture this season.

Michael Olise's 89th-minute strike gave the Royals a 1-0 win at Loftus Road in December, leaving QPR with just one victory in their last six games against the Berkshire outfit.

Queens Park Rangers QPR manager Mark Warburton pictured in February 2021© Reuters

However, the Rs are in good form, having won three of their previous four matches and their 3-2 victory over Millwall on Wednesday came in dramatic fashion.

The capital outfit trailed by two goals at the break, but Charlie Austin, Stefan Johansen and Jordy de Wijs – all January loan signings – struck in an inspired second half to turn the game around.

Had the season started on January 1, QPR would be fifth in the table and only three teams have conceded fewer goals in that period.

If they can get a result against Reading then there is potential for Mark Warburton's side to end the campaign on a high as their next four games after the international break are all against teams below them.

Rangers have won four of their last six away games, having only picked up one victory from their first 12 matches on the road this season.

Reading Championship form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Queens Park Rangers Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Andy Rinomhota and Ovie Ejaria returned from recent injuries to appear as substitutes in Reading's loss to Birmingham, and the pair will be looking to play from the start on Saturday.

Rinomhota's return could lead to Tom McIntyre dropping back into the centre of the defence, where the Royals are hugely missing Michael Morrison, who should be available after the international break.

Sam Field and Ilias Chair are expected to return to the QPR starting lineup at the Madejski Stadium; the pair were surprisingly left on the bench against Millwall before coming on in the second half, with Warburton insisting he was keen to look after their fitness.

Lyndon Dykes made it 21 appearances without a goal on Wednesday night so Warburton may decide to revert back to deploying Austin as a lone striker in attack.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Rafael; Yiadom, Moore, McIntyre, Richards; Laurent, Rinomhota; Meite, Olise, Ejaria; Joao

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Dickie, De Wijs, Barbet; Kane, Johansen, Field, Wallace; Chair, Willock; Austin

SM words green background

We say: Reading 2-1 Queens Park Rangers

With a tough run-in after the international break, Reading will know this is a must-win game, and we think that the Royals will just snatch victory on home turf. QPR performed a superb turnaround on Wednesday, but they may not be allowed such an opportunity against a better side.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data

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Queens Park Rangers QPR manager Mark Warburton pictured in February 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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