Reading v Stevenage preview

Boro hope to book a place in the FA Cup Fourth Round

Reading v Stevenage

FA Cup Third Round

Reading FC, Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL

Team news

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Despite speculation linking him with a move away from Reading, Jimmy Kebe has been offered a new deal with the club and is likely to start for the Royals this weekend. Andy Griffin is Reading’s only injury doubt with Ian Harte likely to fill in on the left of the defence. Alex McCarthy could be given a run-out in goal following his return from loan.

Stevenage will be without the suspended Chuks Aneke and the injured John Mousinho and Rob Sinclair. Ben May returns from suspension, but if Graham Westley wants to employ Chris Beardsley on his own up front there could be a return to the starting line-up for Luke Freeman. Don Cowan should also be in the squad.

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Last time they met

These two sides met in the fourth round of the FA Cup last year, with Reading the victors by two goals to one. Mikele Leigertwood put Reading ahead on 23 minutes before Boro equalised through Darius Charles who curled his effort inside the far corner from the edge of the area. Shane Long scored the winner, meeting a Jobi McAnuff cross to score in the 87th minute

Recent form

Reading are fifth in the Championship with 39 points from their 25 games.

They are currently the league’s form team with 18 points from their past 24, but lost 3-1 at Cardiff City last time out.

They have not made the Madejski a fortress, however. They have already lost there three times this season with six wins and four draws.

Boro go into this game having also been drawn away from home in the previous two rounds. They beat Hartlepool United 1-0 in Round One and Stourbridge 3-0 in Round Two.

Stevenage have not lost any of their last eight away games in all competitions. They have won won six and drawn two.

Referee: N Miller (County Durham)

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