Reading FC manager Veljko Paunovic made one change from the team that was crushed 7-0 by Fulham on Tuesday night for today’s trip to Middlesbrough.

The big story is the return of star striker Lucas Joao who starts on the bench for the Royals today, his first appearance in the matchday squad since August 14th.

With Scott Dann forced off against Fulham with a hamstring injury, Josh Laurent once again deputises at centre-back alongside Tom Holmes with Dejan Tetek and 20-year old academy graduate Ethan Bristow at full-back.

In midfield, Andy Rinomhota makes his first start since August next to Danny Drinkwater while John Swift, Tom Dele-Bashiru, and Junior Hoilett will supply the attacking threat behind Andy Carroll who himself could be playing in his last Reading game with his contract set to expire this weekend.

Reading are still searching for their first win of 2022 after drawing with Derby before losing to Kidderminster Harriers and Fulham.

READING FC XI: Southwood; Tetek, Laurent, Holmes, Bristow; Rinomhota, Drinkwater; Dele-Bashiru, Swift, Hoilett; Carroll