The Wokingham Paper

Reading v Wigan Athletic preview: Royals take on relegation threatened Latics at Madejski Stadium

George Puscas
Reading v Cardiff City George Puscas scored a hat-trick in Reading's last meeting against Wigan.

READING will be looking to get back to winning ways after an away defeat to Leeds United as they prepare to face struggling Wigan Athletic tomorrow evening at the Madejski Stadium (8pm kick off).

The Royals already optimistic hopes of qualifying for the play-offs were all but ended after Pablo Hernandez’ solitary goal condemned Mark Bowen’s side to defeat as Leeds strengthened their push to play Premier League football next season. Meanwhile, Reading dropped down to 16th position in the Championship, 16 points off the top six.

Bowen remained positive despite the loss to Leeds and has targeted his team to get maximum points from their next two games against two of the three teams in the relegation zone, Wigan (22nd) and Barnsley (23rd) who they host on Saturday.

Royals fans will be keen for their side to ease any relegation fears with 12 league games remaining, as they sit eight points away from the drop zone, while Wednesday’s opponents Wigan are currently two points away from safety.

Team news

On loan Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria is expected to return to the matchday squad having missed out on Reading’s trip to Elland Road because of a groin injury.

Reading will be without Chris Gunter, but have been bolstered by the recent return of right-back Andy Yiadom from injury. The Royals will also be without Matt Miazga and Lucas Joao.

The visitors will be without the injured Kieran Dowell, while defender Chey Dunkley returns from suspension.

Recent results

Recent meetings go in the favour of Reading, who defeated the Latics earlier in the season with a 3-1 triumph at the DW Stadium which saw a stunning five minute turn around after a George Puscas hat-trick.

The Royals are unbeaten in their last five meeting against Wigan, winning five of them but come into the game with just one victory in their last five Championship matches. Meanwhile, Wigan have lost just one of their last five games, picking up two wins and two draws to boost their chances of avoiding the drop to League One.

Predicted Reading starting XI: Rafael, Yiadom, Morrison, Moore, Richards, Pele, Rinomhota, Swift, Ejaria, Meite, Puscas.

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