Play-off Hopefuls Swansea City Visit Reading

Swansea City visit the Madejski Stadium to take on Reading in the knowledge that they could still sneak into the play-offs at the expense of South Wales rivals Cardiff City.

Play-off Hopefuls Swansea City Visit Reading

No Room for Error for Steve Cooper’s Swans

Swansea kept their top-six chances alive with a 1-0 victory over Bristol City on Saturday afternoon, a result which saw them rise into seventh position. With one game left, the Swans are three points behind Cardiff, meaning that they could snatch the final play-off spot from their bitter rivals.

In order for that to take place, Steve Cooper’s side must ensure that they collect maximum points in Berkshire and will then need the Bluebirds to lose to current bottom club Hull City.

It is worth noting that Nottingham Forest’s top six place is not sealed mathematically yet, as they sit on the same points tally as Cardiff with 70, but do have a superior goal difference.

Hosts Reading do not have anything riding on this game, as their Championship status was secured a week and a half ago. They were involved in a seven-goal thriller at the weekend, with Blackburn Rovers beating them 4-3 in Lancashire.

Swansea’s hopes of securing a much-needed win at the Madejski will be boosted by the fact that the Royals have won just twice since the restart, with neither of those triumphs coming on home soil.

Previous Meeting

The shares were spoiled when these two sides met at the Liberty Stadium in September last year after a 1-1 draw.

Spanish striker Borja Baston scored very early on to put Swansea in front, but Andy Yiadom’s 90th-minute goal earned the Royals a point.

Team News

Reading could be without defender Tom McIntyre for their final game of the season after he took a ball to the face during Saturday’s defeat at Ewood Park and was subbed off as a result.

Guinea-Bissau international Pele and Lucas Joao are both unavailable through injury, with Ovie Ejaria and Yiadom also unlikely to feature in Mark Bowen’s 20-man matchday squad.

Meanwhile, Swans boss Steve Cooper has confirmed that Wayne Routledge and on-loan striker Rhian Brewster will both be available to face the Royals after carrying minor knocks at the weekend. However, midfielder George Byers is a doubt due to an issue with his groin.

Freddie Woodman and Joe Rodon will miss out through injury, while full-back Kyle Naughton is still suspended after his sending-off at the City Ground on July 15.

Prediction

Swansea know that nothing but a win from this match will be good enough, and they should be confident of securing one having been defeated only four times on the road in the league this term. Reading also have a poor home record – they have lost 11 of their 22 league games at the Madejski.

The Royals’ defensive vulnerabilities were exposed in their game against Blackburn, meaning that if the Swans can find a way through early on, the floodgates could open.

Prediction: Reading 1-3 Swansea City

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