Derby look to boost playoff hopes at the expense of lowly Reading

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Derby County will be spurred on by their penalty shootout win over Premier League side Southampton on Wednesday, when they meet Reading the league at Pride Park.

Frank Lampard’s side recovered from two goals down to force the game into penalties, scoring all five of theirs to progress. This came soon after a 2-0 defeat to Leeds United, which was marred by ‘Spygate’, but Lampard will be thrilled with the character his youthful team showed, and the return of Harry Wilson a massive boost for their promotion chances.

Reading find themselves at the wrong end of the table in 22nd place, with 23 points from their 27 games. New manager Jose Gomes will hope he can utilise the January transfer window to improve his squad and guide them to safety this season.

Midfielders Tom Lawrence, George Evans and Duane Holmes could be recalled for Derby, who were left out of the starting lineup for the midweek win. Whilst fullback Andre Wisdom should return to the starting lineup, slotting into his usual right back position.

Reading are without a number of players this weekend, Callum Harriott, Paul McShane, John O’Shea and Yakou Meite are all back in training but not ready to play. Saeid Ezatolahi is still on the road to recovery, but Sam Baldock will miss this fixture as he continues to be sidelined.

These two sides met in the first game of the season, which saw Derby run out 2-1 winners at the Madejski Stadium, Tom Lawrence scoring a late winner, from a delicious Mason Bennett cross. Reading will hope they can exact revenge this time around and derail any promotion hopes Derby have.

Prediction; Derby 3-0 Reading

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