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Sky Sports pundit Ian Holloway predicts Derby County v Reading, analyses Nick Blackman transfer

Sky Sports pundit Ian Holloway thinks Derby County will beat Reading 2-1 tonight.

Pundit Ian Holloway has told Sky Sports that he thinks Derby County will beat Reading 2-1 in the Championship this evening.

The Rams go into the game having won five of their last nine games, but their league clash saw them lose the top of the table battle with Middlesbrough.

Derby did hit back on Saturday, beating League Two side Hartlepool 2-1 in the FA Cup, as Jacob Butterfield and Darren Bent rescued Paul Clement's men, who had fallen behind at Victoria Park.

Tonight, they welcome Reading to the iPro Stadium, who recently re-appointed their former boss Brian McDermott as manager, following the departure of Steve Clarke.

The Royals have lost seven of their last ten games, with two wins and two defeats in the league since McDermott's return in December, and drew 2-2 away at Huddersfield in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Few are tipping them to get anything from the game at Derby, but one of the interesting sub-plots from the game is that Nick Blackman could play for the Rams, less than a week since leaving Reading.

The striker hit 13 goals in 28 games this season before departing the Madejski Stadium, and today he goes up against his old team-mates for the first time.

Speaking to Sky Sports, pundit Ian Holloway has tipped Derby for a 2-1 win, and says Reading won't move forward whilst they're letting their best players leave - but did note that Blackman's contract situation possibly had a part to play in his upturn in form for Reading.

"Reading will have a go, but can you move forward if you're selling your best players? Nick Blackman is Reading's top goalscorer but he'll be playing for Derby in this one after joining them," said Holloway. "It's weird how it has taken Blackman until the last year of his contract to start tearing it up and scoring every week."

"Reading invested £1.5m for him in 2013, he scored seven goals in two seasons, then he has the best season of his career when his contract is running down. A coincidence? Probably not," he added.

What's your prediction for Derby County v Reading?

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