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Reading pulled off a shock 2-1 win away at Fulham last weekend, with Ovie Ejaria scoring his first two goals of the season in exceptional style.
The Royals dropped into the relegation zone after their draw with Queens Park Rangers a fortnight ago, but have now risen to 13th after beating Peterborough United and then the Cottagers and are three points outside the playoff places.
Veljko Paunovic‘s side have not won three matches in a row since the start of March, but will sense an opportunity to build some momentum with a trip to bottom of the table Derby County to come next week.
With just one defeat in their last 11 home league matches, Reading will certainly be confident going into Saturday’s game.
Goals have pretty much been guaranteed with the Royals this season, as they are the third highest scorers in the Championship with 15 goals but they also have the weakest defence, having conceded 18 times
Anfernee Dijksteel was forced off injured in Middlesbrough’s defeat to Blackpool last weekend, leaving Neil Warnock short of options at full-back.
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Winger Marcus Tavernier filled in for the remainder of the game, but it is hoped that either Marc Bola or Paddy McNair are fit enough to return from injury.
Warnock may decide to bring the more physical presence of Uche Ikpeazu back into the team upfront in an attempt to cause problems for Reading’s makeshift defence.
Reading possible starting lineup:
Southwood; Yiadom, Laurent, Stickland, Rahman; Drinkwater, Dele-Bashiru; Halilovic, Swift, Ejaria; Puscas
Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Lumley; Peltier, Hall, Fry, Bola; Howson, Siliki; Tavernier, Crooks, Hernandez; Ikpeazu