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Following a poor opening month of the season, Reading have got back on track of late, winning four of their last five matches.
Junior Hoilett netted the only goal of the game against his former club Cardiff City in a 1-0 win for the Royals in south Wales a fortnight ago.
It was Reading’s second clean sheet in three matches, but they still have the second-worst defence in the Championship this season having conceded 19 goals.
Veljko Paunovic praised his team’s “fantastic team spirit” against the Bluebirds and the Serbian says he is fully focussed on driving the club forward, despite rumours of an impending points deduction.
The Select Car Leasing Stadium is becoming a difficult place for teams to visit, as Reading have lost just one of their last 12 home league matches.
Barnsley are still without several key players, with Josh Benson and Carlton Morris sidelined through injury and Mads Andersen and Aapo Halme back in training but not yet ready to feature.
Markus Schopp has said that William Hondermarck and Remy Vita are set to be involved in the matchday squad, with the Austrian describing the two 20-year-olds as “interesting options”.
Cauley Woodrow is the Tykes’ top scorer with three goals, but only one of those has come from open play – the others have been a free-kick and a penalty.
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Junior Hoilett has picked up an injury on international duty, which could force a Reading reshuffle with Tom Dele-Bashiru moving out wide, Josh Laurent returning to his natural holding midfield position and summer signing Scott Dann coming into start in defence for the first time.
Hoilett adds to the club’s already lengthy injury list, with Andy Rinomhota the closest to returning out of those currently sidelined. George Puscas has not scored in his last 16 appearances, meaning teenager Jahmari Clarke is pushing for a start upfront after netting a hat-trick for the under-23s on Monday.