Reading v West Brom preview: Saido Berahino cleared to play for Baggies
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 20/02/16 3:04pm
Saido Berahino is available for West Brom when they go to Reading in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
The striker has started the last two matches, including the penalty shootout win over Peterborough in the previous round, and has been cleared to play after escaping a ban for an alleged kick aimed at Everton's James McCarthy.
"Thank goodness nothing was made of it because there was nothing there," said West Brom boss Tony Pulis.
The Baggies, who have needed replays to beat Bristol City and Peterborough, will be without Gareth McAuley due to a hamstring injury.
James Morrison (hamstring) and Callum McManaman (ankle) are also out but on-loan Tottenham midfielder Alex Pritchard can play after he was not registered in time for the game against Peterborough.
Reading will be without cup-tied duo Yann Kermorgant and George Evans while Danny Williams and Matej Vydra are doubts after missing last weekend's clash with Burnley.
The Royals reached the semi-finals of the cup last season and beat Walsall 4-0 in the last round.
Paul Merson's prediction
West Brom have been very weird in the FA Cup this season. They've bagged themselves two winnable home draws against Bristol City and Peterborough and needed replays to get through. You should have a go rather than relying on replays. I can see it happening again. Score draw.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)
Reading have progressed in three of their four previous FA Cup ties with West Brom (D2 L1), including their last meeting in the third round in 2011.
In all competitions, the Baggies haven't won away at Reading since January 1995 - drawing four and losing six since then.
The Royals have progressed from three of their last four FA Cup fifth round ties, including a victory against West Brom in 2010.
West Brom are unbeaten in seven FA Cup games against lower league opposition since defeat at Reading in 2011 (W4 D3).
Berahino has scored eight goals and assisted four more in his last seven FA Cup games.
Reading are unbeaten in six games at the Madejski Stadium (W3 D3) and haven't conceded in three home games.
Reading are Sky Bet's marginal favourites at 13/8 with West Brom 7/4 for the victory and 11/5 to take the tie back for the Hawthorns.
Both sides are considered outsiders to lift the trophy, with the Baggies 28/1 while their hosts are given a 100/1 chance. Salomon Rondon heads the first goalscorer betting at 11/2 while Matej Vydra and Deniss Rakels are rated the Royals' main threats at 13/2 apiece.