Having been unfortunate not to have managed to do the double over Blackpool at the weekend, we are handed perhaps a more challenging opportunity to do the same over promotion-chasing Reading. It’s easy to forget that 1-0 win over them at the City Ground back in November, isn’t it? A Marcus Tudgay goal enough to give us the points against the Royals before they found their groove and mounted a promotion assault.
As we get to the business end of the season lots of permutations and possibilities could come to fruition. Most pertinent to us in the question of our avoidance of relegation. Quite a simple one to determine – win, we’re safe. If we don’t win, then we need to match Coventry’s result – so basically, if Millwall can do us a big favour and notch a win at the Ricoh Arena.
Of course, our hosts have much reason to still be highly motivated too – a victory for the home side coupled with the admittedly-unlikely with a failure of West Ham to beat struggling Bristol City away would secure promotion for the Berkshire side. To all intents and purposes a win for Reading will see them up barring some kind of spectacular exercise in incompetence.
Steve Cotterill has already hinted at making changes, and to be truthful I can see why – a fair few games over the last few days are bound to have taken their toll. He of course can’t pick the suspended McCleary, and I’m sure will be hoping that Guy Moussi is available for selection again to add a bit more muscle to midfield and give Adlene Guedioura the opportunity to get forward a bit more having been playing more of a defensive cameo in recent games.
Reading have a few more on their injury list, Leigertwood, Connolly, Robson-Kanu, Karacan and Anderson have all suffered injuries of late and could be missing – but as their last performance at St Mary’s will show, they’ve got a big enough squad to still pose a daunting threat to to us. As I might have said before before big trips away, it’s difficult to see Forest getting much – and d’you know what? I stand by it.
A sell-out crowd in the mood to celebrate could work in our favour if we manage to frustrate the home side or nick a surprise goal – but well, I’m not holding out too much hope for this midweek trip to the Madejski. It would be a literary treat if Majewski could silence the Madejski, though, wouldn’t it? I won’t be placing any bets on it, though!
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