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Preview: Reading vs. Blackburn Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Reading and Blackburn Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Reading play host to Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday evening looking to strengthen their hold of fifth position in the Championship standings.

Meanwhile, Blackburn make the trip to the Madejski Stadium on the back of six matches without success, a run of form which has left the North-West outfit having to consider the possibility of a relegation fight.

Match preview

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic pictured in December 2020© Reuters

On the back of four defeats in five matches, Reading boss Veljko Paunovic would not have relished the trip to face Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon.

However, a narrow victory with a clean sheet has the potential to kickstart a late surge for the top two, even with Brentford now sitting nine points clear of the Royals.

Only leaders Norwich City have shown any consistency of late, and another three points on Tuesday evening would keep Reading in the conversation for automatic promotion.

The negative which will stand out for Paunovic is Lucas Joao going three-and-a-half matches without finding the back of the net, leaving the club's top goalscorer with just three strikes in eight appearances.

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray pictured in December 2020© Reuters

At a time when Reading have struggled in the final third, Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray will wonder how his side have failed to win in six matches given the quality of their frontline.

Saturday's 1-1 draw against Coventry City was a step in the right direction after five successive defeats, but it has only left Rovers having to switch their attention to avoiding relegation.

While Ben Brereton netted his second goal in a week, Adam Armstrong went another game without a contribution, the club's leading marksman now having scored just six goals since the beginning of December.

Although Blackburn also have issues in defence, they are unlikely to make quick headway up the table until Armstrong recaptures the form which set him out as the best in the division during the early months of the season.

Reading Championship form: LLWLLW

Blackburn Rovers Championship form: LLLLLD

Team News

Reading's Lucas Joao celebrates scoring against Bristol City in the Championship on February 16, 2021© Reuters

Paunovic may select the same Reading XI which started the game at Rotherham on Saturday.

George Puscas and Sam Baldock are alternatives for Joao if Paunovic decides to hand a rest to his star man.

Tyrhys Dolan will be considered for a start on the right flank for Blackburn with teenager Harvey Elliott having played 90 minutes against Coventry.

Tom Trybull is also in line for a recall in midfield, but the rest of the team could stay the same with Manchester City loanee Taylor Harwood-Bellis remaining among the replacements.

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

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Nyambe, Lenihan, Branthwaite, Douglas; Evans, Trybull, Rothwell; Dolan, Armstrong, Brereton

SM words green background

We say: Reading 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

Mowbray knows that he has to end the club's current run of form as soon as possible, a scenario which should lead to him naming an attack-minded team. However, Reading are a more well-rounded side, leading us to predict a narrow victory for the hosts.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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/Away:data

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Coventry City manager Mark Robins pictured in November 2020
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