Aston Villa vs Reading – Match preview and team news

Two of the Premier League’s bottom three meet at Villa Park as Aston Villa host Reading in a match that would see the winners escape the relegation zone.

Villa have won only twice this season under new manager Paul Lambert, who will return to the dugout after serving a one-match ban during the 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Saturday. Lambert has pushed through an overhaul of the squad in his short time in the Midlands, putting faith in a number of young signings but results have been disappointing.

Reading picked up their first – and so far only – league win of the season by beating Everton in their last home game, but could not maintain that winning feeling in a trip to Wigan Athletic at the weekend. A see-saw game eventually went the way of the Latics, leaving Reading two points short of safety and a point behind Villa.

Ron Vlaar is a doubt for the home side after injuring his calf against Arsenal, while it remains to be seen if Darren Bent will return to the squad after being left out for the draw with the Gunners.

Reading boss Brian McDermott is without Jimmy Kebe, who has not recovered from a groin injury, while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and midfield pair Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan are all back in training but the match is expected to come too soon for the trio.

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