The Wokingham Paper

PREVIEW: Paul Clement set for a reunion when Reading FC go to Swansea

Leandro Bacuna was Readings stand out performer
Leandro Bacuna has left Reading

Paul Clement will face his former club for the first time when he takes Reading to Swansea tomorrow afternoon (3pm kick-off).

The Royals are desperately scrabbling around for points having dropped back into the Championship relegation zone following Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Birmingham.

PODCAST: Tom and Olly preview the trip to Wales

Swansea’s form has been up and down under new boss Graham Potter, but the Welsh side are well-placed up in 10th, just four points outside the play-offs.

Marc McNulty will be hoping to get a chance

Team news

Clement has no fresh injury concerns from the loss on Tuesday, but could rotate his squad again after a disappointing display.

Callum Harriott, David Meyler and Marc McNulty all missed out on the matchday squad in Birmingham despite being fit and available and they will be hoping to get a chance to impress on Saturday.

Saeid Ezatolahi remains a big miss for Reading in midfield but Sam Baldock and Garath McCleary are pushing for starts again having both started the win over Millwall and then come off the bench in midweek.

Dave Edwards, Adrian Popa, Jordan Obita, Omar Richards are all still injured while Paul McShane is unlikely to be risked having only come back into full training this week.

As for Swansea, they are also without any fresh injury concerns after their 3-1 win over Blackburn in midweek.

Wilfried Bony and Jefferson Montero have also returned to training, but are unlikely to be brought back into the first team yet.

What they said

Graham Potter: “Reading are a really well-organised team. They will be really aware of how they want to defend while at the same time being able to spring from defence to attack.

It’s a big day for Paul Clement

“People know Paul (Clement) is a top coach. He has great experience in football and can organise his teams very well.

“Reading lost in midweek, but they had a good win against Millwall and they got a point at Brentford, while they were unlucky against West Brom.

“Like all games in this division, if we don’t play well then it will be very difficult for us.”

Paul Clement: “I’m looking forward to going to Swansea, it’s a fond place for me.

“But I want to go over there and win. It’s a really important game again, we’ve got to finish off the week well.

“If we manage to get a good result, it’ll be a decent week. That’s the most important thing.”

Form

Reading have not won back-to-back matches this calendar year and they failed to do so again by losing 2-1 at Birmingham on Tuesday, having beaten Millwall 3-1 on Saturday.

The Royals have struggled to generate any momentum all campaign and sit 22nd in the table. But they have impressed at times on the road but have now lost their last two, including a 4-1 drubbing at West Brom.

Swansea’s form is also patchy with Tuesday’s win over Blackburn just their second success in eight games.

Potter’s men recently lost to rock-bottom Ipswich at Liberty Stadium.

Previous meetings

Reading lost 2-0 to Swansea in the Carabao Cup last year, when the Swans were managed by Paul Clement, but the two have not met in the league since 2012.

Reading v Swansea

That was a goalless Premier League draw at Madejski Stadium on Boxing Day and the Royals have not beaten Saturday’s opponents in the last nine attempts, including the infamous 2011 Championship play-off final.

The last time Reading beat Swansea was 4-0 in 2008 thanks to goals from Noel Hunt, Kevin Doyle (2) and Stephen Hunt.

Odds

Unsurprisingly Swansea are favourites for victory, priced at 4/5, while Reading are available at 10/3. The draw is 14/5.

Jay Fulton was heavily linked with a summer moved to the Royals and the Swansea midfielder is 4/1 to score tomorrow while Yakou Meite is 11/4 to continue his fine recent form in front of goal.

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