When : Saturday 30th September, 5.30pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
Next Norwich City. And on the telly. No, really it is. Sky have actually decided to cover a Reading game and even more amazingly it isn't QPR or Ipswich either. Will it be a case of yet more ineptitude as Reading totally fail to play any from of football in their opponent's half or will it all come good suddenly and leave everyone glossing over the recent "fantastic" run of results.
In all likelihood comparisons will be made between Oliviera and Aluko - seems Reading were looking to buy Aluko OR Olivieira never both (according to some of the comments I've seen from the club in the media) - so let's all hope it's not too annoying for Reading supporters as Oliviera comes off the bench and scores while Aluko delivers another ball into Row Z
Norwich have recorded five consecutive clean sheets (apparently a club record) and only conceded one goal in the last six games (which was a late injury time consolation at Brentford). This will make the game even more fun when you consider the recent utter bluntness of Reading's thoroughly non threatening attack (it's so safe it has now got the British Safety Standard mark).
Injuries should mean Norwich lose the services of Mario Vrancic (calf), Steven Naismith (groin) and Wes Hoolahan (knee) in addition to the long term absentees of Alex Pritchard, Matt Jarvis, Jamal Lewis and Louis Thompson.
Reading's catalogue of woe continues with no Kermorgant, Watson, Mendes, Obita and most likely being a game too soon for the return of Harriott or Mo Barrow. Expectation also is that there will be yet another bemusing player omission, of which we all know nothing as yet, but will be put down to some injury or other after the game.
Fans should also be prepared to be on the end of a lot of 7-1 references from our East Anglian friends, especially if there is a miracle and Reading take the lead, but more likely along the lines of "we want 8" every time they score.
West Sussex has the honour of providing the services of American comic, and former English cricketer, Tim Robinson for this encounter
29 Apr 17 > Reading 1-0 Wigan Athletic
01 Oct 16 > Reading 1-1 Derby County
02 Feb 16 > Ipswich Town 2-1 Reading
21 Sep 13 > Derby County 1-3 Reading
Norwich are one of those sides that used to be reasonably regular opponents until they found the second division in 1960 and since then, apart from 2009/2010, they've been consistently in the top two divisions so the two sides went about 35 years or so with no league meetings.
Therefore this game will be the 35th time the sides have played a league game in Reading. The home league record so far reads 18 Reading wins to 9 for Norwich with 63 scored and 44 conceded
So, based on that, are Reading twice as good as Norwich then? Think we can all guess the answer to that one.
How to follow the game
- Get a ticket and travel to the Mad Stad
- Listen to Radio 5 Live and/or a myriad of other radio stations for score flashes
- Ring/text a mate for updates
- Use an iFollow subscription
- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)
- SKY Football League Channel
Recommendation. Don't bother arriving until the second half.