Bolton travels to RG2 this Saturday, taking on a Reading side fresh off the back of a comfortable 2-0 victory over Birmingham in midweek. Yakou Méïte and Mo Barrow were doubts after their Carabao Cup win in midweek, but it seems as if both have recovered enough to be ready from the off this weekend. Phil Parkinson’s Trotters lost 2-1 against Leeds on Tuesday night and would be hoping for a positive response from his players against Paul Clement’s Royals side.
Predicted 4-4-2 Reading Lineup To Face Bolton
Vito Mannone will no doubt start between the sticks again for the Royals, despite Sam Walker’s encouraging performance against Birmingham. However, anymore mistakes like the one he made against Derby and he would start feeling some pressure for the starting spot.
In front of the Italian should be the centre back pairing of Tiago Ilori and Liam Moore, the latter making his first league appearance of the season. Paul McShane may feel slightly aggrieved about being pushed out of the starting XI by the returning Moore, but last season’s ‘Player of the Season’ has been by far the Royal’s best centre-half, and unfortunately, McShane has gone down the pecking order at this point.
On either side of the pair should be summer signing Andy Yiadom on the right and former Manchester United man Tyler Blackett on the left. There are no new injury concerns in defence, with only Chris Gunter in the physio room.
It is highly likely that the Irish pairing of Liam Kelly and David Meyler will start in the middle of the park (Kelly more advanced and Meyler sitting deep) this weekend, with Yakou Méïte and Mo Barrow starting on either flank. Reading were dealt a bit of a blow on Tuesday night as both Méïte and Barrow left the field injured, but fortunately, they have recovered in time for this Saturday’s fixture.
The midfield is a very light area for the Royals at the moment, with only two wingers available to choose from, so to have both of them fit in time has been vital for the Berkshire side. Sone Aluko had been ruled out off last weekend’s fixture with a slight injury, and he still isn’t ready to return to action. Paul Clement has confirmed that Gareth McCleary is nearing a return and that Adrian Popa is fit, but not match fit yet.
Paul Clement tried Sam Baldock and Marc McNulty upfront together on Tuesday night, and it wouldn’t surprise us if we got to see that partnership again on Saturday. With Bolton’s relatively slow centre-backs, Baldock and McNulty would be the perfect pairing to try and exploit them with their pace and get in behind them. They worked well together against Birmingham, so there is no point for Clement to change a successful pair.
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