Leeds hope to strengthen title credentials against struggling Reading


Leeds United welcome a struggling Reading side to Elland Road on Tuesday evening. The clash in the middle match in a run of three games in a week for both teams.

Paul Clement’s Reading have only tasted victory once on the road – a 3-2 win at Preston North End in mid-September and are in a rotten bit of form having only won once in their last five games. That being a 3-2 triumph against Bristol City.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men currently sit third in the table on 33 points but could leapfrog both Middlesbrough and Norwich City to the summit of the Championship if results fall their way.

The Yorkshire outfit are coming off a comfortable 2-0 home win over Bristol City in which Bielsa was forced to promote two academy graduates due to the slew of injuries his men have suffered.

Under-20 England international Will Huffer started in goal in place of the injured Bailey Peacock-Farrell as 20-year-old centre-back Aapo Halme was also drafted into the side.

Bielsa praised both youngsters for their performances and eluded to the pair playing mid-week saying, “I’m not sure if [Pontus] Jansson or Farrell will be available for the next game.”

Clement has selection issues of his own with Sam Baldock battling a hamstring issue and winger Modou Barrow is doubtful also.

The former Swansea manager has recently recalled Sone Aluko to the squad and praised the forward. Clement said, “He deserved an opportunity just from his professionalism and how he’s got his head down and continued to work.”

A second away win of the season for The Royals could see them climb as high as 18th and give them some breathing space from the bottom three.

A Reading victory could also see Leeds fall completely out of the play-off places, such is the sardine can of the top six in the Championship.

Clement will be tasked with formulating a plan to stop Leeds’ top goal scorer Kemar Roofe, who has eight goals this campaign, and Spanish winger Pablo Hernandez who has netted six times.

The latter draw praise from his manager for his performance against Bristol City, “Pablo is always a player with a lot of influence. He always improves the a style of our team

“When he scores goals he’s even more important.”

Last season saw Tuesday’s visitors take four points from a possible six from The Whites, including a 1-0 win at Elland Road in October last year as Barrow got the only goal of the game.


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