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Jan 19, 2022 at 8pm UK
LutonLuton Town

Drinkwater (90'), Joao (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Holmes (33' og.), Campbell (58')

Preview: Reading vs. Luton Town - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Reading vs. Luton Town - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Reading and Luton Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Reading welcome Luton Town to the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday evening knowing that they need to end a five-match winless streak in the Championship as soon as possible.

While the Royals sit just three points clear of the relegation zone, Luton are in 13th position and with several games in hand on the teams above them.

Match preview

Given their respective form, Reading supporters had little hope of claiming anything from Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough, but the unexpected was on its way to being delivered for 84 minutes of the game at the Riverside Stadium.

However, despite holding a lead through an Andy Carroll goal, Reading shipped two goals during the closing stages, extending their winless streak in the second tier to five games.

Veljko Paunovic was naturally disappointed with the final outcome, even if he will feel that progress has been made ahead of two home fixtures versus Luton and Huddersfield Town.

Over the next two weeks, Paunovic will want to bring in new players and retain current ones as much as he wants a ninth win of the campaign, but everything needs to align for the Royals to make any significant headway.

Uncertainty remains over whether Carroll will stay at the club, the forward attracting interest from elsewhere upon the expiration of his contract having made a positive impression in his eight appearances since the middle of November.

Luton were left to endure a frustrating period over the Christmas and New Year period, the Hatters going almost a month without playing a fixture.

Nevertheless, the enforced break has certainly not affected Nathan Jones's team, who followed a 4-0 win over Harrogate Town in the FA Cup with a dramatic 3-2 triumph over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Luton have now collected seven points from a possible nine in the second tier, an impressive feat when taking into consideration that they also drew with Fulham.

With 10 points the gap to sixth-placed Middlesbrough, Luton are not in a position to launch a bid for the playoffs just yet, but they possess matches in hand on all the teams above them.

The goals are currently being shared around this team, but defender Kai Naismith has two strikes and two assists to his name from his last four outings.

Reading Championship form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Reading form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Luton Town Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Luton Town form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

With Carroll currently out of contention, Lucas Joao may be thrown straight into the Reading starting lineup after making his return from injury.

Mamadi Camara could deputise for Junior Hoilett down the right flank if the winger does not recover from the knock that he picked up at the weekend.

The game will likely come too soon for Michael Morrison, leaving Paunovic to stick with the rest of the team which started at Middlesbrough.

Luton pair Allan Campbell and Reece Burke will both be assessed after they suffered knocks during the meeting with Fulham.

Luke Berry and Henri Lansbury are among the alternatives if required, while Fred Onyedinma is also in contention for a recall.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Southwood; Tetek, Holmes, Laurent, Bristow; Rinomhota, Drinkwater, Swift; Camara, Joao, Dele-Bashiru

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Shea; Burke, Bradley, Naismith; Bree, Campbell, Mpanzu, Bell; Clark, Adebayo, Onyedinma

We say: Reading 1-2 Luton Town

Even though they experienced contrasting fortunes at the weekend, both teams will feel encouraged by their respective performances. Nevertheless, we can only back the Hatters for this contest, the visitors potentially prevailing by the odd goal in three.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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