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Reading’s draw at Craven Cottage in the first leg of the play-off semi-final was a very positive result for the club, though the pressure is firmly on them now to finish the job at home.
The sending off of Paul McShane has left Jaap Stam with a crucial change to make and he must bear in mind that Jokanovic may well change his striker for the second leg. Certainly, he’ll be telling his players that it’s all about them, and so a sound attacking performance will be what he would be looking for. He will hope that it will be enough to get them to Wembley.
Other than McShane’s replacement, we expect no changes from the side that faced Fulham on Saturday and so the 3-4-2-1 formation could be in evidence again.
The admirable former Bolton stopper is still showing his quality and will play a crucial part once more. Will start this important fixture.
The former Liverpool man is the natural replacement for McShane who was sent off last time. Should start at the back.
Well established in this back line, a mature and settled performance is the order of the day here for Liam Moore, who will partner Ilori and Blackett.
Some big game knowledge brought in from his former club wouldn’t go amiss here from the young defender. Should start the game for Reading.
A disciplined performance may be needed, as an over-eagerness to get forward could cost Reading dear, with talented players like Malone, Ayite, and Sessegnon being capable of getting in behind.
Winning the central midfield battle is one of a few crucial game changing moves which need to happen and Williams will play a massive part in that.
Once again, Evans will need to be all over Tom Cairney to stop him from influencing the game.
Much like with Guntger, Obita needs to be disciplined enough to stop Fulham from breaking out on Reading.
Although he’d wish to play centrally and put pressure on Ream, Grabban may be wise to get in behind a marauding Scott Malone down the right and exploit the space.
Given Evans’ Cairney dilemma, Swift may be back helping his midfield regularly, though supporting Kermorgant must remain paramount.
The French striker is not prolific in front of goal, but possesses tons of quality and experience and so will take whatever chances come his way. Grabban will be very important to Kermorgant in terms of attacking support on a night when Fulham may even enjoy more possession than the home side.