News and Views

Pressure On For Home Goals As Forest Visit

27 February 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading will be hoping to turn around a poor run of home league games when Nottingham Forest visit the Madjeski Stadium this weekend. Forest are resurgent following the departure of previous boss Stuart Pearce. Forest started the season strongly, surging to the top of the table on results that included a 4-0 thrashing of Reading at the City Ground back in August 2014. However, it wasn't long before the results turned around and they fell down the table and sacked Pearce. Their fortunes have reversed once again since the end of January. February 2015 has been an amazing month for Forest as they have won four out of their five Championship games and the other game was a 4-4 draw at Blackpool.

Forest are back up to ninth in the table and come to Reading to face a team out of sorts at home. The Royals have lost three out of their last four league games and, as if anyone needs reminding, our last two home games have been "rubbish" defeats with Reading failing to find the net and failing to provide any kind of reasonable entertainment. Reading have scored just four goals from their last seven home fixtures - and might need to double that in one game to see off free-scoring Forest! Optimistic Reading fans will point to our better recent form against sides above us in the table, and at least Nottingham Forest are six places above us.

Steve Clarke shuffled the squad around for Tuesday night's 0-3 capitulation at Huddersfield Town, making six changes from the previous game, and seems set to do that again. It's almost as if Clarke is treating these games as practice sessions ready for next season as Reading look set for a mid-table finish this term. However, it would be good to wrap up a few more wins first, and make sure we don't get dragged into a relegation fight, before such experimentation with the squad. It could also be that Clarke is focusing on the cup and resting key players ahead of the quarter final trip to Phil Parkinson's Bradford City.

The FA Cup game remains a huge match for Reading after such a dull league campaign - a win would make the season memorable for a trip to Wembley and our greatest performance in the competition since 1927. But before what promises to be an eventful game in Bradford, the Royals have two more league games starting with Forest at home before traveling to Bolton on Tuesday night.

Reading could welcome Chris Gunter back into the side after he completed his return from injury by being an unused substitute at Huddersfield. Yakubu will probably find himself replaced by either Simon Cox or Pavel Progrebnyak up front after both players were entirely missing from the Huddersfield squad. Reading will feel the pressure from the home fans to score some goals and whoever is picked up front is going to have to come up with the goods after a barren spell at home.

Betting Odds:

  • Reading Win: 6/5 (favourites)
  • Nottingham Forest Win: 21/10
  • Draw: 5/2
  • Favourite goal scorer: Simon Cox (19/10 to score anytime)

See Also:

Reading and Nottm Forest - Head to head record (since August 1994)
Games Between Reading and Nottm Forest 19
Reading Wins 7
Nottm Forest Wins 7
Draws 5
Reading Goals 20
Nottm Forest Goals 22
Average Goals Per Game 2.21

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