Reading v Blackpool: Team news, predicted line-up and pre-match comments from Neil Critchley

Blackpool will be looking to get back to winning ways when they make the long trip to face Reading on Wednesday night.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:00 pm

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The Seasiders marked their return from the 14-day international break with a slender 2-1 defeat to a rejuvenated Nottingham Forest side.

Nevertheless, Neil Crtichley’s injury-hit side are still in good nick, sitting in 15th in the table with just one defeat to their name from their last five outings.

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But they face another in-form side in midweek in Reading, who have won five of their last six games.

It sees Veljko Paunović’s side sit seventh, just one point adrift of the play-offs. John Swift has played a major role for the Royals this season, scoring eight and assisting a further five.

A reminder that Wednesday night’s game, Blackpool’s last encounter before the derby on Saturday, kicks off at the later time of 8pm.

Team news

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

Neil Critchley hopes to have Dujon Sterling and Keshi Anderson back available for selection after the pair missed Saturday’s defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Sterling was due to return to training on Monday after recovering from illness, while Anderson was absent at the weekend with a family matter.

Elsewhere, the club continue to assess Kevin Stewart, who hobbled off during the second-half at the City Ground with an ankle problem.

The midfielder has endured an injury-hit campaign already, having only played the full 90 minutes on one occasion.

The depleted Seasiders will also be without Daniel Gretarsson (concussion), Reece James (foot), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles), CJ Hamilton (foot) and Shayne Lavery (hamstring).

Reading, meanwhile, have fitness worries over Junior Hoilett, Dejan Tetek, Tom Holmes, Alen Halilovic, Andy Rinomhota, Tom McIntyre, Michael Morrison, Lucas Joao, Yakou Meite and Felipe Araruna.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“Reading play really good football and have a lot of players in the team that can handle the ball, technically they’re very good.

“They’re very patient in possession and they’ve got some good experienced players at this level.

“There’s Danny Drinkwater in midfield, John Swift has been a real attacking outlet for them and has contributed massively in terms of goals and assists, I know the quality Ovie Ejaria has got because I worked with him at Liverpool.

“You look at the back players, Scott Dann and Liam Moore. Scott Dann has played plenty of football in the Premier League and Liam Moore is a fantastic player at this level.

“They’ve got good players over the pitch and they’re in good form and they’re at home, so it’s a really tough proposition for us.

“But as always, if we can do what we’re good at then we know we’ll cause them problems as well.”

Opposition view

“We have two more games this week, so it was important to start with a win after the international break,” Veljko Paunović said after Reading’s 1-0 win against Barnsley at the weekend.

“It was hard to have a better performance, but we work with a small group due to internationals and injuries.

“Some guys were not able to recover and missed training and it was hard to reengage with the cohesion we had before the break, with not being together for two weeks.

“But it was important to start these three games, to start this and focus our strengths, game by game, starting well with a win.

“We look for another solid performance on Wednesday, but expect another difficult game against Blackpool. They play in a different way to Barnsley, which we have to prepare for.”

Pool’s predicted line-up (442): Grimshaw, Sterling, Keogh, Ekpiteta, Garbutt, Dougall, Wintle, Bowler, Anderson, Yates, Madine

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