When : Saturday, 28th April 2018, 3pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
This is it then. Effectively Reading's last game of the season, well the last realistic chance to get any form of pointage anyway. Quite simply the proverbial must win game. Anything other than a win as good as takes the club's destiny out of it's own hands and leaves us all more interested in whatever Bolton, Burton, Birmingham and Barnsley are up to elsewhere (not that many of us haven't been already over the last few weeks anyway).
In Reading's favour though at least Ipswich have nothing to play for, and no permanent manager either after Mick McCarthy left a couple of weeks ago. So just like Sheffield Wednesday Reading will face team that's only got pride and a few players wanting to get themselves into the shop window. However let's hope that that doesn't lead to the same pathetic outcome as at Hillsborough.
And Ipswich are in true end of season from. One win (at home to Barnsley) and 1 draw (at home to Millwall) to show from the last 9 games. Their last away win was 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday on 6th March and since then they've lost all 5 away games played by one goal scoring just the once in the process.
Reading's catalogue of injuries won't change. Even if Elphick and McShane are declared free from injury their lack of match fitness rather precludes any likely worthwhile contribution other than keeping the bench warm. Add to that the lack of Tyler Blackett reducing Reading's back line to, basically, only three experienced, match fit and available defenders plus youngster Omar Richards.
Ipswich will be missing midfielder Grant Ward through suspension and have injury concerns over Joe Garner, David McGoldrick, and Emyr Huws plus others I believe.
Reading need to take the game to Ipswich from the off, play at a high tempo and get stuck into them. They need to fight and show desire, they need to create a stack of opportunities. So pretty much everything that's been missing from their game all season. The fans too need to repeat the support that was there for the last 3 home games and make a constant wall of POSITIVE noise. Even 90 minutes solid of "Blue Army" will do.
Hampshire’s Keith Stroud is up for this one.
Previously with Mr Stroud
02 Dec 2017 > Sunderland 1-3 Reading
04 Nov 2017 > Derby County 2-4 Reading
01 Apr 2017 > Reading 1-0 Leeds United
14 Feb 2017 > Reading 3-2 Brentford
19 Nov 2016 > Reading 3-0 Burton Albion
28 Dec 2015 > Reading 1-2 Brentford
07 Nov 2015 > Cardiff City 2-0 Reading
03 Oct 2015 > Reading 2-0 Middlesbrough
14 Apr 2015 > Reading 0-1 Bournemouth
29 Mar 2014 > Reading 1-1 Huddersfield Town
11 Jan 2014 > Watford 0-1 Reading
13 Aug 2011 > Leicester City 0-2 Reading
03 Apr 2010 > Ipswich Town 2-1 Reading
06 Feb 2010 > Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Reading
29 Dec 2007 > Tottenham Hotspur 6-4 Reading
22 Sep 2007 > Reading 2-1 Wigan Athletic
25 Feb 2006 > Reading 2-1 Preston North End
23 Aug 2005 > Reading 3-1 Swansea City (League Cup)
There have been 57 previous league games between Reading and Ipswich and generally it's the standard "home team rules the roost".
This particular game is therefore the 29th league visit from the "Tractor Boys" and previously there have been 15 Reading wins, 8 Ipswich wins and 5 draws (all by 1-1) to show for the previous efforts. Goals for and against though are quite close with 45 scored and 39 conceded thanks to several home thrashings amongst the 8 defeats.
How to follow the game
- Get a ticket and travel
- 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)