Reading boss Jaap Stam expecting Norwich City to make changes for Boxing Day battle

Reading's head coach Jaap Stam. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Reading's head coach Jaap Stam. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Two home games over the festive period will offer Reading the chance to solidify their place in the promotion race.

Following tomorrow afternoon's clash with Norwich at the Madejski Stadium the Royals host Fulham – who beat them 5-0 at Craven Cottage in early December – on New Year's Eve.

'It's going to be a busy period,' Reading boss Jaap Stam said. 'We are working hard in preparing for the game on Boxing day. We as a technical staff know that with the Christmas period it is going to be a busy time.

'It is going to be a tough game. They've got a good side and a lot of quality players that were with them in the Premier League last season that are still there.'

The former Manchester United defender's team are full of confidence having won seven of their last nine but he expects to see some changes in the Canaries team, following last week's 2-1 home loss to Huddersfield.

'It is going to be hard,' Stam continued, speaking to his club's official website. 'But everybody knows when we play at home we want to get a result. We need to prepare for all occasions because sometimes we've seen them play in a bit of a different system and managers are always looking for the right combinations on the pitch.

'They lost their game against Huddersfield at home last week so they will be wanting to have a better result against us. Maybe they will be changing a couple of players in looking to do that, so we need to be prepared for that.

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'We will be training using different shapes to workout which is the best way to play against them and to get a result.'

England Under-21 midfielder John Swift could return against City after an ankle injury.

'He has been starting to train outside this week,' Stam said. 'We need to have a look this week at how far he is and what he can do, and if it is reasonable for him to join in with the squad for the game against Norwich.

'Everybody knows how he is as a player and what he can do, because he has proven himself when he was fit and playing for us.

'He is an important player for the squad.'