Following the victory over Wolves, the majority of Villa fans would have been optimistic for a push for an automatic promotion spot, however, this hasn’t been the case. Villa has only picked up a single point from a possible nine against three teams who were placed between 16th and 20th. Automatic promotion hopes seem a distant memory and now our focus must turn to securing a playoff spot. Reading are the visitors to Villa Park tomorrow and a win would be there the perfect way to get back into winning ways for Steve Bruce’s men.

THE OPPOSITION

Paul Clement is the new manager of Reading

New manager Paul Clement will be hoping to change Reading’s fortunes as their form this season has resulted in a relegation fight.

Clement guided Reading to a 1-0 win over QPR at the weekend in his first game in charge and the Royals first win in 10 League games.

Reading’s biggest weakness this season has been conceding goals. The 57 they have received is the 5th highest in the Championship.

The Royals have picked up 20 points on the road this season, 1 more than they have picked up at home despite playing one game less on the road.

TEAM NEWS

Bruce is hopeful of former Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan being available for selection after recovering from an injury.

Otherwise, Villa has a fully fit squad to select from. Changes are expected to be made following the bore-draw with Hull on Saturday.

Reading will have Liam Kelly available after he missed the win over QPR on Friday due to illness.

Yann Kermorgant will miss the game through suspension, while Jón Daði Böðvarsson isn’t expected to be match fit. Tommy Elphick is not eligible to face Villa who are his parent club.

THE BIG MATCH

Our recent poor form and lack of goals are worrying but we could look to use Reading’s poor defensive record to rectify that and get ourselves back on track. Reading has a habit of conceding late goals and have cost themselves four points this season through conceding injury time goals.

Reading has been decent scoring 47 which is probably about par for at this point of the season. There top goal scorer in the Championship is winger Modou Barrow with 9 goals, a player Villa was linked with last summer.

In Clement’s first game in charge Reading set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Chris Martin as the lone striker. They are a team who like to control games and set the pace averaging 55.1% of the possession this season.

Villa will need to look to prevent this as a lack of possession has cost us in the last few games.

GAME IMPORTANCE

I feel that the game is hugely important as Villa need to maintain the gap between those who are below us competing for playoff positions. Villa currently sits 5 points clear of 5th place Derby and 8 clear of Bristol City in 7th.

There is still that tiny hope that those above us will slip up as well, and if they do, we need to ensure we are in a position to pounce.

TICKET INFORMATION

There are still tickets available with around 31,000 expected at Villa Park this evening. Reading has taken an allocation of 1,375 and still, have tickets available to buy at the Away ticket office.

Adults tickets are available from £20, Under 16’s from £5. Purchase tickets here.

LIVE MATCH CHAT

Can’t make the game? Well, why not discuss the game on our Aston Villa forums with fellow Villa supporters.

Join us for Aston Villa vs Reading match chat.

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