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Preview: Reading vs. Charlton Athletic – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League One clash between Reading and Charlton Athletic, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Nathan Jones will take charge of his first game as Charlton Athletic manager when his side take on Reading at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Saturday.

The Royals, meanwhile, will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to five matches as they continue their fight to remain in the third tier.

Match preview

Reading manager Ruben Selles reacts on January 23, 2024

© Reuters

Since losing 1-0 to Wigan Athletic on January 20, Reading have gone on to take eight points from their last four matches.

The Royals began that run of form with a narrow win over promotion-chasing Derby County, before they played out 1-1 draws against Leyton Orient and Oxford United.

Ruben Selles‘s side returned to winning ways in midweek, with a Vadaine Oliver own goal proving enough to seal a narrow 1-0 win and move Reading out of the bottom four.

After claiming all three points in Tuesday’s away fixture, Reading will now return to Berkshire, where they have avoided defeat in each of their last five home league games.

The Royals have relied heavily on their home form this season, with seven of their nine league wins taking place at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Southampton head coach Nathan Jones pictured on February 4, 2023© Reuters

Charlton have experienced a period of uncertainty in the last few weeks following the decision to sack Michael Appleton last month.

Curtis Fleming took charge on an interim basis, overseeing a draw against Blackpool and a narrow 1-0 loss to Derby County.

The midweek defeat against the Rams proved to be the final game of Fleming’s temporary tenure, as Charlton announced they had appointed Jones as Appleton’s permanent successor.

The Welshman, who has been out of work since being sacked by Southampton in November 2022, takes over a side that are currently languishing in 19th position, leaving them level on points with Reading and just one point above the drop zone.

With Charlton winless in 12 league matches, Jones will hope to have an immediate impact by leading his new side to their first victory in the third tier since November.

Reading League One form:

Charlton Athletic League One form:

Team News

Reading's Femi Azeez celebrates scoring their first goal on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Reading are expected to be without the services of defender Tom Holmes, who has missed the last two matches through injury.

After seeing his team claim a crucial victory in midweek, Selles could be tempted to name an unchanged lineup for Saturday’s contest.

Sam Smith will be looking to add to his seven-goal tally for the League One season when he leads the line against Charlton.

As for the visitors, they remain without the services of the injured trio of Michael Hector, Chuks Aneke and Miles Leaburn.

Midfielder George Dobson is also a doubt for Saturday’s fixture after he missed the narrow defeat to Derby with a calf issue.

Alfie May will continue to provide one of Charlton’s main goal threats, having scored 16 in 27 league appearances this season.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Button; Yiadom, Mbengue, Bindon, Mola; Azeez, Wing, Savage, Knibbs, Ehibhatiomhan; Smith

Charlton Athletic possible starting lineup:
Maynard-Brewer; Ness, Gillesphey, Thomas; T. Watson, Edmonds-Green, Coventry, Bakinson, Edun; Ladapo, May

SM words green background

We say: Reading 1-1 Charlton Athletic

Charlton will be desperate to claim all three points in Jones’s first game in charge, but we think we may have to settle for a share of the spoils when they face a Reading side that has avoided defeat in each of their last five home league matches.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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