Reading take on QPR on Tuesday night on the back of a very positive performance, and indeed result away at Brentford on Saturday afternoon. Before the game I think 99% of Reading supporters would’ve been very happy with a point so I wouldn’t even bother questioning whether it is one point gained or two points dropped.
As usual, Paul Clement made me look silly with his team selection – I might get it right at some point this season. It would appear that Sam Baldock has some sort of injury problem after missing out completely, but the fact that there’s been little talk of it suggests that it’s only a minor issue. Tyler Blackett’s return to fitness is a boost, which I hope results in Andy Yiadom returning to right-back.
Saeid Ezatolahi again impressed in the heart of the Reading midfield, and got through 90 minutes which will please everyone around the club. His introduction has reinvigorated the Reading midfield, and subsequently improving the performances of Leandro Bacuna, who I think is crucial to the Reading midfield. His mobility and fitness is vital in many aspects of the game, most significantly in transitional periods, which none of the other options in midfield offer. Ezatolahi has exemplified what has been missing, and David Meyler can learn a lot from watching the Iranian, as he nears a return to fitness.
QPR come to the Madejski having been thrashed 3-0 away at Swansea on Saturday. They’ll of course be looking to bounce back, and get back to winning ways. Both sides will be desperate to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three, to ease pressure on their managers. Paul Clement got off to a winning start in his first game in charge in a breathless game at the Madejski Stadium that saw Sone Aluko score a stunner, and Vito Mannone save Jake Bidwell’s injury time spot-kick.
Reading face another tough away trip next weekend away at West Brom, so there’s another incentive to win on Tuesday night (not that they need another).
Tuesday also offers Paul Clement to make changes again, such is the cut and thrust nature of the Championship. Josh Sims will have counted himself extremely unfortunate to be left out of the starting XI on Saturday, but will be hoping that he made a big enough impact from the bench to warrant a return from the start. In comparison with Sone Aluko and Yakou Meite, Sims has performed far better than the formers. The only other alteration I would expect to see is Liam Kelly to play ahead of John Swift, as Clement seems to be reluctant to play the two together.
Barring any further injuries, I would expect the team to look like this;
GK: Sam Walker
RB: Chris Gunter
CB: Liam Moore ©
CB: Tiago Ilori
LB: Andy Yiadom
RM: Sone Aluko
CM: Leandro Bacuna
CM: Saeid Ezatolahi
CM: Liam Kelly
LM: Josh Sims
ST: Jon Dadi Bodvarsson
I’m predicting a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory on Tuesday night.
Up the Biscuitmen!
Picture Credit: Reading FC