Peter Beagrie looks at Reading and Brighton attacks ahead of final day
Peter Beagrie tells FL72-Preview about attackers who could clinch a play-off spot for Brighton or Reading.
Last Updated: 04/05/14 5:55pm
Reading are in pole position to clinch sixth spot and extend their campaign by joining Derby, QPR and Wigan in the post-season contests.
However, Brighton are just a point back and ready to pounce on a Royals slip-up, while Blackburn could still spring a surprise if they see off Wigan and their fellow play-off hopefuls both come unstuck.
For Nigel Adkins' side the equation is simple: beat Burnley at the Madejski and they seal a play-off berth.
Peter Beagrie, though, reckons the hosts will have their work cut out against Sean Dyche's already promoted Clarets.
"Reading have to get the balance between taking the game to a team like Burnley, who have got pace in the wide areas, and not trying to go gung-ho," he told FL72-Preview.
"You don't have to win the game in the first 10-20 minutes. Of course, if it's filtering through they need a result, the pressure is on to throw bodies forward, but they have to do it in a controlled manner.
"We saw Leicester celebrating and then come unstuck with a 4-1 defeat but Burnley won't do that. They haven't got that in their make-up."
For Brighton, who travel to Nottingham Forest, Beagrie fears the South Coast club may have missed their play-off chance by dropping vital points in their recent run of fixtures.
"As for Brighton, I looked at them six weeks ago and tipped them to get in that final play-off spot," he said.
"I thought they'd be at least four points better off than they are now and home and dry. They have missed an opportunity."
If Reading and Brighton - the two main contenders for sixth spot - are to book a play-off place they will need to find the back of the net.
Here Beagrie assesses the men each side will be looking to for final day finishes.
"Adam Le Fondre will have a massive say on Saturday. He's got two in his last two. I've seen him come up through the divisions and always thought he had a nose for a goal. When you look at the way Reading play Gareth McCleary is pivotal, in terms of the service he provides to Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak, who both are very clever players. They offer two options for the man on the ball and there's some really good movement at Reading.
"Pogrebnyak has had an indifferent season but at the important stage he's coming up trumps. I like him because, like Danny Ings and people like that, he has a thirst for work. He's been scoring really important goals and that shows the right mentality for the players that are going to play in this big, big game.
"They've got players in the wide areas like Kazenga LuaLua and Will Buckley. LuaLua comes on and has a massive impact in games. He can start if they really want to go for it, too.
"Leonardo Ulloa, for me, is a tremendous, tremendous striker. He has the physicality for the Championship, he has the aerial threat and he's very good on the floor as well. He's been scoring the goals, although he has been missing at important parts.
"And Jesse Lingard has come in and done really well. This is brilliant for his football education. Developing a personality, going to different dressing rooms and proving you can be a hit speaks volumes for his mentality and self-belief."