Reading look to strengthen their position in the top six with a win over second-place Watford at Vicarage Road on Friday night.

Below we look at everything you need to know before the test against the Hornets.

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Watford find themselves nine points clear of third place Brentford ahead of the match after 14 wins in 19 league matches since the turn of the year.

A run of six straight wins was ended on Monday following a 1-1 draw with Neil Warnock’s Middlebrough at the Riverside, and so Xisco Munoz’s side will be looking to return to winning ways against the Royals.

They also boast the meanest defence, having conceded just 27 all season, including just three in the last seven matches.

Earlier in the season Veljko Paunovic’s side managed to edge Watford 1-0 at the Madejski with a George Puscas strike, however Friday’s hosts changed manager as Vladmir Ivic lost his job in December, and Xisco has turned his side from play-off chasers to one of the promotion favourites.

Overall the sides have met 119 times, first back in 1921, however after five years in the Premier League this season has seen the first league meetings between the sides since March 2015 when Watford won 4-1 as a much-changed Reading side prepared for an FA Cup Quarter Final reply just two days later.

Team News

The hosts have no fresh injury concerns, however with the squad having just been relegated from the Premier League there is plenty of depth should Xisco decide to make changes.

With the news of Michael Morrison and Tom McIntyre being out for the remainder of the season it leaves Paunovic light in the centre-back role, with Lewis Gibson the obvious candidate should Liam Moore or Tom Holmes miss out.

Top scorer Lucas Joao notched from the bench on Monday and therefore may return from the start.

Key Player

£30m signing Ismaila Sarr leads the way for goal contributions, with 10 goals and four assists to his name.

However the stand-out position for the hosts remains central midfield, with options aplenty such as former Royal Nathaniel Chalobah and former Derby County starlet Will Hughes.

Signed for roughly £8m in 2017, he was not favoured by Ivic and did not make his first start this season until mid-January, but his side have won 12 of the 17 since and are looking the most likely, alongside Norwich City, to immediately bounce back to the Premier League.

How to Watch

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports, and therefore is not available to stream on iFollow services within the UK.


According to Sky Bet, at the time of writing, Watford are the 5/6 favourites whilst Reading are 7/2 and a draw is 12/5.