Bristol City 0-0 Reading live: Tommy Conway and Matty James start back from injury

Hello and welcome to today’s live match blog.

Championship football is back after a two-week break and Nigel Pearson’s side are looking to bounce back from two defeats against Paul Ince’s Reading this afternoon.

The Royals cross the M4 without a win in five games, face an injury crisis of their own and have a possible six-point penalty deduction on them for breaching financial regulations.

City will welcome back Matty James and Tommy Conway through injury, although it will be too soon for Kal Naismith. Alex Scott is also out while Mark Sykes starts the first of his four-match ban. The win could lift the Robins up one spot to 13th as they aim to finish in the top half.

We’ll be bringing you all the build-up, live match action and reaction throughout the afternoon, so stay tuned and keep scrolling down.

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Very valiant

Reading loses the ball in a dangerous area and Conway slides Mehmeti down the left. He cuts to the right of him and throws it into the small area.

Lumley comes out to hit and collides with Weimann, who almost takes something.

Lumley’s comes out worse and receives treatment inside the area.

early pressure

The city has Reading in a box as crosses fly from both sides. Tanner ignores Weimann’s overlap and takes it out on Mehmeti and the back post.

He tackles his defender and returns it through the goal, which deflects over the crossbar. The resulting corner comes to none other than City still in possession.

an early booking

Thomas Holmes goes into the book for a challenge on Conway: he’s going to walk a tightrope for the rest of this game.

City have started quite well – once they have a couple of decent crosses in the box that Wells couldn’t convert.

Pring is now down, but it’s ok to continue.

slips and slides

As Little Richard once sang. Players are already falling to the ground in pitch conditions.

Far from ideal, injuries could be a concern here.

The formation…

Very interesting, it’s the standard 4-2-1-2-1, but apparently Conway is playing at the No10 position with Weimann on the right and Mehmeti on the left.

That will allow Conway to push up and play close to Wells.

We’re on the move!

It’s City that gets us going, kicking from right to left in the first half. While he confirms the formation in a brief second. Go ahead guys!

Here they come

The players venture onto the field, led by Andi Weimann. City in their pinstriped home shirt, while Reading will play in their traditional blue and white hoops.

Next kickoff!

The tone

I have to say the pitch doesn’t look in the best condition from here at the Lansdown Stand. The outfielders are in it right now doing everything they can to fix all the scratches caused by the Bristol Bears last night.

To be fair, it’s probably the best they can get under the circumstances.

Lee Trundle

It’s good to see the former City striker having a lot of fun in Cardiff this afternoon…

Alex Scott Update

Fortunately, that’s good news with Alex Scott out for up to 10 days.

Pearson told BBC Radio Bristol: “Alex is responding well so I can’t see him being away for too long, maybe a week, maybe 10 days. We’ll see.”

Nige on Tommy Conway

It will be an hour tops for Tommy Conway this afternoon on his return from injury with Pearson also taking note of the pitch after constant rain and rugby last night.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, he said: “As I just said, don’t wait more than 60 minutes. It will be a reintroduction for him. I think it’s better for him to start than come on as a substitute, but 60 minutes will be the maximum.

“Could be 45, we’ll see how he does and how he feels, but he’s been out for quite some time. He’s looked great in training; his fitness level is good, but he’s a bit heavy today.” So we have to be careful.”

Reading’s first two

A tough test again for Cam Pring and Zak Vyner this afternoon against the physical prowess of Andy Carroll and Yakoue Meite.

I say that because they found it extremely difficult to deal with the pace and power of Carlton Morris and Adebayo at Luton a few weeks ago.

the city side

So it’s interesting to throw Tommy Conway straight into the starting XI for his first appearance since New Year’s Day on his return from a hamstring injury.

There’s a chance Nige went with the diamond formation, with Matty James playing deeper with Taylor-Clarke and Weimann on either side and Mehmeti up front with Wells/Conway up front.

On the other hand, it could be Weimann at No10 with Mehmeti on the left and Conway on the right. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The reading side

This is how the visitors get in shape with Andy Carroll at the helm.

Team News – Conway Begins

Well Tommy Conway and Matty James start for City while Mehmeti and Wells return to the starting XI.

There is also a place on the bench for academy star Harry Leeson.

the first releases

A pair of games coming to their conclusions in the Championship with Luton beating Watford in the race for a top six result and Preston beating rivals Blackpool 3-0.

That’s a real kick in the teeth for Blackpool’s hopes of survival.

the boys have arrived

Great to see Tommy Conway get off the team bus this afternoon. He will be hoping to make his first appearance since New Year’s Day when he pulled a hamstring.

A good omen for today

Bristol City are one of six Championship clubs yet to lose at home in 2023 (L6 W4 D2), while opponents Reading are one of only two teams, along with Blackpool, yet to add a single point away from home in the division this calendar year. (P6 L6).

transportation nightmare

I hear it’s been an absolute nightmare on the trains and the highway with flooding given the amount of rain we’ve had. Good luck to those who make the trip and the advice would be to leave in very good weather.

a century of games

This will be the 100th game between the two teams this afternoon with City winning 40 of them and losing 41. A good chance to even the record books, then.

Only one of the last 20 league meetings between Bristol City and Reading has been a draw, a 1-1 draw in April 2019.

championship matches

Take a look at the Championship fixtures this afternoon, including the Welsh derby.

Massengo on his future

Han-Noah Massengo admits his long-term future remains undecided, but now that the Bristol City midfielder talks about his time with the Robins in the past tense, wherever he ends up this summer will be away from Ashton Gate.

Massengo joined Auxerre on loan at the end of the January window with the French club covering his salary until the end of the season, which will also coincide with the expiration of his contract at City.

Read the full story here

Han Noah Massengo in action for Auxerre (Photo by Franco Arland/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The intended team

Good afternoon!

The defense will pick themselves this afternoon with Tomas Kalas and Kal Naismith both injured, but there are some question marks over the selection in midfield and attack.

Matty James is back and so is Tommy Conway. With Alex Scott out, Anis Mehmeti could take the No. 10 spot, while Andi Weimann could move to the right with Sykes’ suspension.

This is how we think City will shape up today

Matty James, Bristol City midfielder (Robbie Stephenson/JMP)


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