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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

20 February 2018 Venue The City Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Reading (H)

20 February 2018

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

Nottingham Forest return to The City Ground tonight as they face Reading in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Reds picked up a point in a battling display against Burton Albion on the weekend, fighting hard with ten men after Eric Lichaj's early red card.

Forest dug in and showed plenty of defensive resolive to keep a clean sheet and ensure they left the Pirelli Stadium with something to show for their efforts and will be looking to build on that against The Royals this evening.

Reading have had a difficult season after coming close to promotion in last year's play-off final. The hangover from that Wembley defeat has been long-lasting as they have been lingering around the relegation places and they arrive at The City Ground on a run of one win in their last 11 league outings.

Their last two league victories, against Sunderland and Burton, have both come away from home though so Jaap Stam's side will prove a difficult opponent.

See below for the pre-match views from the Forest camp.

Team news

Eric Lichaj misses out for The Reds having been sent off in Saturday's draw against Burton Albion. The defender starts a three-match ban this evening.

Michael Mancienne and Joe Worrall were also absent for the stalemate at the Pirelli Stadium through illness and injury respectively, with Worrall set to miss out again.

Apostolos Vellios and Daryl Murphy have also been struggling through illness so all three are doubts.

From the opposition

Reading have been away in Spain for a training camp in preparation for tonight's game and manager Jaap Stam hopes that there will be long-term benefits from their week away.

Due to Emirates FA Cup commitments of other teams, Reading were without a fixture on the weekend so headed to the continent for some time away and Stam hopes they will be extra prepared for the game.

He said: "We're looking at the first game that we need be playing against Nottingham Forest – although the camp isn't only for that game! It's for the long term and getting benefit out of it. But we're using the camp to try and prepare for that match."

Former Forest defender Chris Gunter is set to line up against his former side for The Royals and he believes that the focus needs to be on what they can do well.

He said: "Forest haven't had too many good results of late – they'll be thinking that they're at home and will want to win the game as well. It's a game where we need to go there and keep doing the things we're doing well, and knowing that there are things we need to do better. It's a good chance, and when you have a lot of games in a short space of time, it's important that you play well and pick up results."

One to watch - Jon Dadi Bodvarsson

Icelandic striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is The Royals' top scorer this season with eight goals and will be key to the way Reading attack this evening.

The hard-working front man scored two goals in their last league triumph against Burton Albion and will be keen to add more goals to his tally at The City Ground.

Last visit


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Live coverage will be available on iFollow Forest, with live match footage available for international subscribers and audio commentary also available.

There will also be full coverage via the club's official social media channels and in the Match Centre.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 7.45pm on Tuesday unless otherwise stated:

Aston Villa v Preston
Barnsley v Burton
Brentford v Birmingham
Middlesbrough v Hull
Millwall v Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield United v QPR
Bolton v Sunderland (8pm)
Bristol City v Fulham (Wednesday)
Derby v Leeds (Wednesday)
Ipswich v Cardiff (Wednesday)
Wolves v Norwich (Wednesday)

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Match Reports

Forest 1-1 Reading

20 February 2018

Lee Tomlin’s second-half equaliser earned Nottingham Forest a point against Reading at The City Ground this evening.

The forward’s first goal for the club five minutes from time cancelled out Omar Richards’ opener for a share of the spoils in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Reds were much improved in the second half against Jaap Stam’s side and had the chances to take all three but ultimately had to settle for one.

Aitor Karanka made two changes to the side which drew at Burton on the weekend, with Ben Osborn coming in for the suspended Eric Lichaj and Kieran Dowell taking Matty Cash’s place in the starting eleven.

The first chance of the game arrived on three minutes for the visitors and a glorious one it was too. Derby loanee Chris Martin played the ball out wide for former Forest man Chris Gunter, and the forward raced into the box to get on the end of his cross only to volley over the bar from eight yards out.

The opening stages of the game were scrappy with neither side looking like taking control. Forest had the ball in the back of the net on eight minutes as Ben Brereton turned in Dowell’s teasing cross from the right, only to see the flag raised for offside, and the visitors were denied by a superb Danny Fox block on 21 as Gunter looked set to convert inside the area.

Just before the half-hour mark The Reds began to build up some pressure on the Reading goal with a few efforts in quick succession. Tomlin drove through the midfield and fired an effort just wide from 25 yards before Vito Mannone was called into action twice in 30 seconds, firstly to deny Brereton and then Joe Lolley.

But it was Reading who found the opener through Richards on 35 minutes. Gunter found space down the right and drilled a shot across goal which Costel Pantilimon pushed clear, but only to full back Richards who lashed home from 10 yards out.

The Reds almost found themselves back on level terms on the stroke of half time as Tomlin’s superb curling free kick looked destined for the corner, only for Mannone to pull off a fine save to tip it around the post.

Karanka’s men came out for the second half with some intent, moving the ball quickly and not allowing Reading chance to settle on the ball. Their play got the crowd on side and this almost helped find the equaliser on 52 minutes as Lolley showed excellent footwork in a tight space inside the penalty area but couldn’t get a firm contact on his shot in the final moment.

Tendayi Darikwa was whiskers away from his first City Ground goal on 55 as his ferocious effort smashed off the underside of the bar and away, then seconds later Brereton’s effort deflected towards the far post where Darikwa arrived but saw his shot superbly blocked on the line by Richards.

The next chance arrived on the hour mark with Tobias Figueiredo, on his home debut, meeting a Tomlin corner at the near post but glancing his header wide of the far post before the match became stop-start as The Royals tried to see the game out.

But The Reds kept huffing and puffing and they found the equaliser their second-half performance deserved with five minutes remaining and it was Tomlin who got it. Lolley was played in down the left flank and the winger cut inside his man and squared for Tomlin in the middle who was composed as he fired into the bottom corner.

A point was the least Forest deserved from the game for their second-half dominance and The Reds can take plenty of positives from the game ahead of the trip to QPR on the weekend.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox, Osborn, Watson (c), Colback, Tomlin (Guedioura 89’), Dowell (Cash 66’), Lolley, Brereton

Unused subs: Kapino, Bridcutt, McKay, Fuentes, Bouchalakis

Goal: Tomlin 85’

Bookings: Osborn 62’, Tomlin 74’, Figueiredo 77’

Reading: Mannone, Gunter (c), Ilori, Moore, Richards, van den Berg (Evans 81’), Bacuna, Aluko, Kelly (Edwards 90’), Barrow (McCleary 71’), Martin

Unused subs: Jaakola, Clement, Bodvarsson, Blackett

Goal: Richards 35’

Bookings: Kelly 37’, Richards 76’, Gunter 78’

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 21,846 (356 away)

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