News and Views

Last Chance For Glory At Derby

13 February 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading travel to Derby County once more this weekend in the fifth round of the FA Cup in what seems like one final chance to make something of this season. The Royals appear stuck in midtable in the Championship. We're certainly not going up and it seems highly likely we're not going down. With the season well into its second half, a mid-table finish for Reading seems more likely than not, leaving the FA Cup as the last chance for some excitement for Reading fans. A defeat at the weekend, which is the expected outcome according to form at the bookmakers, and we'll be left with talk of what might happen next season. A win for Reading, or even a draw, would keep the season alive and let us dream of FA Cup glory.

Derby are the third straight Championship opposition away from home that Reading have faced in the competition this season. It's four straight away games against same Division opposition if you also include last season's third round exit against Brighton. Meanwhile, this will be the eighth consecutive home game for Derby in the competition. Luck of the draw I guess. Derby have had a much easier passage to round five. They beat Southport 1-0 in round three and Chesterfield 2-0 in the fourth round.

The Rams are flying high in the Championship - third place and just a single point away from the top spot. But Derby's position could well help Reading. Derby look set to rest players with promotion their firm focus for this season. Boss Steve McClaren is happy to admit before this game that it's the League takes priority: "All will be revealed on Saturday but we will make some changes."

Reading on the other hand will put out their strongest side in an attempt to follow up wins at Huddersfield in round three and Cardiff City in round four. The Royals might have already lost twice to Derby this season (0-3 at home in the league and 0-2 away in the League Cup), but this feels our best opportunity yet to win, despite going into the fixture as firm underdogs.

The Royals have failed to score against Derby in the last three meetings, after drawing 0-0 at home in March. Despite the poor results this season our recent history against Derby has fallen firmly in Reading's favour. Before the two recent defeats Reading had won 5 and drawn 2 of the last seven games and the stats show that the games normally produce plenty of goals with a Reading win being the most frequent result.

Reading and Derby - Head to head record (since August 1994)
Games Between Reading and Derby 28
Reading Wins 17
Derby Wins 8
Draws 3
Reading Goals 50
Derby Goals 34
Average Goals Per Game 3

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