Stoke travel to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday in what will be both sides first game back since the 7th of March, when Reading put three past Birmingham to win 3-1 and Stoke thrashed Hull city 5-1.
Last time these two sides met, back in December, the game played out to a 0-0 with Stoke having more chances but frustrated themselves as they couldn’t get any of their 11 shots on target.
Stoke sit currently 17th in the table only three points above the relegation zone, so Michael O’Neill won’t be happy if his side misses the opportunity they’ve had with this break to re-group and get the club moving in the right direction.
Reading are currently in 14th place 8 points behind Preston North End who are in the last playoff place it looks unlikely but you can’t say Reading don’t have a chance of going up this season but will need to get off to a winning start here.
Joe Allen is still out missing after he ruptured his Achilles Tendon in the 5-1 win against Hull. Allen is likely to be replaced by either Jordan Thompson or Jordan Cousins who will be wanting to take advantage of this opportunity and cement their place for the rest of the season.
Stoke manager Michael O’Neill will also be absent from the game after testing positive for COVID 19, on behalf of everyone at Golear I would like to wish him a speedy recovery.
Reading’s whole squad should be available with no known injuries but we can only just wait and see who has put on the pounds while in lockdown.
After neither side registered a shot on target when these two last met, it can only get better, but I still don’t expect goals galore with both teams having a very cagey first half but once the first goal goes I think the game will liven up and Reading will come away with a 2-1 victory.
Match preview written by George Power.