MX23RW : Saturday, December 4 14:49:21| >> :600:90810:90810:
Sep 19, 2020 at 3pm UK at Madejski Stadium
Meite (67'), Olise (76')
Laurent (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Andersen (23'), Ritzmaier (45'), Mowatt (74')
Helik (42'), Andersen (68')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship fixture between Reading and Barnsley, including team news and injury news.

Reading go up against Barnsley on Saturday afternoon after beginning their Championship campaign with a 2-0 victory at Derby County.

Despite their progress in the EFL Cup, the Tykes head to the Madejski Stadium on the back of a 1-0 defeat at Luton Town last weekend.

Match preview

Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Although losing out at home to Luton came as a blow, Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber will still be encouraged by how his side have started the season.

Recording wins and clean sheets against Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough in the EFL Cup have set up an opportunity to test themselves against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

While the game is lower down on their priority list, it is an opportunity for Struber to further assess the strength of his squad at a time when he is looking to create competition for places.

As many as 20 different players have already featured in their opening three matches, and Struber will hope that the desire to earn a starting spot against Chelsea will act as extra motivation this weekend.

Like the visitors, Reading have also suffered a 1-0 reverse at home to Luton over the past week, highlighting that those results should arguably be put into context.

However, the setback ended Veljko Paunovic's two-match winning streak since his arrival at the Royals, and the Serbian is now tasked with the job of ensuring that a second defeat is not suffered in the space of four days.

Although Paunovic made multiple changes to his winning team from the previous game, he must now decide whether his squad has enough depth to mount a bid for the playoffs.

Given his encouraging comments in the aftermath of the game versus the Hatters, it appears that he is willing to show faith in the players at his disposal.

Reading Championship form: W
Reading form (all competitions): WWL

Barnsley Championship form: L
Barnsley form (all competitions): WLW

Team News

Reading's George Puscas celebrates scoring their second goal against Cardiff on August 18, 2019© Reuters

Paunovic is expected to name the same starting XI which began the triumph in the East Midlands last weekend.

That would mean the likes of Sone Aluko and George Puscas being forced to remain among the substitutes.

After missing parts of pre-season, Ovie Ejaria is nearing full match fitness after his 68-minute run-out against Derby.

Luke Thomas and Patrick Schmidt could be drafted into the Barnsley team after they both made positive impacts versus Boro.

However, that would mean Struber having to drop either Conor Chaplin or Cauley Woodrow, two of the star men in his squad.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Yiadom, Morrison, Moore, Richards; Rinomhota, Laurent; Olise, Swift, Ejaria; Joao

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Andersen, Williams; Ludewig, Mowatt, Styles, Ritzmaier; Thomas; Schmidt, Woodrow

SM words green background

We say: Reading 1-2 Barnsley

Although Reading are the marginal favourites to prevail at the weekend, we cannot ignore Barnsley's form in the EFL Cup. Struber's side enjoy being the underdogs, and the visitors could live up that billing once again on Saturday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

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Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber pictured in July 2020
Read Next:
Gerhard Struber: 'EFL Cup clash with Chelsea is a bonus game'

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