Burnley welcome Reading to Turf Moor in a tasty Championship clash in the race for promotion.
Victory will see Burnley stay top and could extend their title lead to five points if Blackburn lose elsewhere, whereas Reading can go fourth with a win if results elsewhere swing in their favour.
Jack Cork is suspended for Burnley after he collected his fifth booking of the season in their midweek win at home to Norwich.
Josh Cullen (knock) could return after he was rested in midweek but Ashley Westwood (ankle), Scott Twine (hip) and Darko Churlinov (unspecified) remain absent.
Reading could welcome Femi Azeez into contention for the first time this season, following his recovery from a hamstring injury but he won’t be risked unless deemed match fit by club doctors.
Naby Sarr (calf), Scott Dann (hamstring) and Liam Moore (knee) remain absent.
- Burnley have won just one of their last eight league meetings against Reading (W1, D2, L5).
- Reading are unbeaten in five of seven regular-season Championship visits to Turf Moor (W4, D1, L2).
- Each of Burnley’s last two home meetings against Reading finished in a 2-1 result, with both teams winning one game apiece.
- Vincent Kompany’s Clarets are yet to lose at home this season (W4, D4), during which they’ve kept just three clean sheets.
- Tom Ince has scored in two of Reading’s last three away matches, only failing to do so in a 2-1 defeat at QPR earlier this month.
Having fought their way to a scrappy narrow midweek win against Norwich in a game where they wasted several chances amidst dominance, Burnley will need to produce better end product if they’re to put themselves in a strong position heading towards the mid-season break.
Reading likewise were dominant in their win over Bristol City last weekend amidst their own poor end product, but importantly failed to face a single shot on target against them which is a positive step coming into this tricky encounter where they will need to be at their clinical best.
Turf Moor though has been a happy hunting ground for Reading at this level so I do expect a tough contest between two teams fighting for promotion, so a score draw might well be a decent bet given Burnley’s defensive inconsistencies.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Reading
Result: Burnley 2-1 Reading