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I hope we start with: Dimi; Nsue, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Leadbitter, Clayton; Adomah, Ramirez, Downing; Rhodes.

 

I've got a bad feeling that Karanka might give Adomah a rest and play Stuani instead as he's the only attacker that hasn't had a rest. I'd much rather Nsue play at RW, with De Laet going to RB, instead of Stuani, that might disrupt the team too much though. Our attacking options don't have the greatest deal of strength in depth, as de Pena and Kike Sola appear nowhere near good enough at the moment, so I think that might be making Karanka be so cautious about giving the best attacking 3 rests every so often so that they don't get tired and pick up a muscle injury or fail to perform to their usual standards.

I'd go with that side, I'm hoping Ramirez hasn't taken a knock though after being subbed, my mate kept saying to me he thought Ramirez had taken a knock I wasn't that sure.

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Reading have generally been shocking away from home having started the season quite brightly, winning their first three games on the road at Brentford, Bristol City and Burnley. Since that win at Turf Moor back in September, they have really struggled and had to wait until February for a 4th away win which came at Charlton. Their only other success came earlier this month winning 1-0 at Bolton who played much of that game with 10 men. Having watched highlights of their games, they look weak on the left side of defence, so hopefully Nsue and Adomah can take advantge of that. Their finishing against Birmingham on Saturday was woeful and they have a different forward line to the one that beat us earlier in the season. I don't think it will be a pushover by any means but i would be very disappointed if we didn't come out of this game with 3 points. I will go for a 2-1 win.

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I don't have a clue what the team will be for this, but I don't expect a lot of changes. Rhodes and Downing back in for Stuani and Nugent, maybe.

2-0 here. Score two first half and shut it up. Leadbitter and Rhodes.

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Quite worried about this one as the pressure will be on us take advantage of our game in hand.

 

Reading have nothing to play for but that doesn't mean they'll hand it to us on a plate.

 

An early goal could change everything for both teams.

 

I'd like to see us go with

 

Dimi

 

Nsue

Ayala

Gibson

Friend

 

Clayton

Leadbitter

 

Adomah

Ramirez

Downing

 

Rhodes

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Hasn't Adomah played full time in the previous three games? Could be a case of resting him and starting downing on the left at Stuani right.

 

Otherwise I think Rhodes and Clayton will be back in and an unchanged defense depending on niggling injuries.

 

We definitely have enough on paper to beat reading so hopefully the players want it more than reading and will put in 100 percent. 2-0 boro

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We really have not fared too well recently against Reading with only one win in the last 5 attempts and they are to me one of those "bogey" type teams we always seem to struggle with.

 

Who can forget the away display going behind so quickly and never ever seeming as if we could do anything about it?

 

Ok I write this before tonight's Brighton game so irrespective of the result this game is still this "game in hand" that we have had hanging over us and one that has to be taken advantage of.

 

The result of this game is massive in terms of now and the end of the season, win it and we go top of the league, lose it and quite possibly we could be down to 3rd spot coming Saturday 2 points behind Brighton if results go their way.

 

Of all the games we have had to face recently and during this countdown period this I have to admit is the one that has concerned me the most mainly due to how we have dealt with Reading over recent times.

 

I hope Boro want to repay in kind the earlier result at the Madjeski Stadium and send out a clear message to both Burnley and Brighton that we intend to stay where we currently are either top or second.

 

The win will pile on pressure to those around us and possibly allow Boro to open a points gap from third place that within the next couple of games would be uncatchable.

 

There is no so far for me with this game but a clear statement that this game IS THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THE SEASON ( I hope folks understand my logic with this statement that is seldom used)

 

As far as teams go then at least retain and use the front 5 we had against QPR and Huddersfield

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If we rest players, we are invariably not playing our best side, the basic idea of football for a team chasing promotion is to win the next game. We are at home, a win gives us a lead over Burnley. Let's win this one with our best side, then worry about the next game. After all TITMIGOTSSF, fgs

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