News and Views

Reading Hoping To Bounce Back After Home Defeat

18 September 2015
By Alex Bower

"Reading are a good team and were unlucky against Derby the other night. They looked like the better team with eleven men."
- Bristol City Manager Steve Cotterill

"We'll go there positive and we'll look to start a new run of games where we don't lose again. The Championship is a tough division- wherever you go, it's going to be hard- and it'll be no different in Bristol. But we'll be ready for the challenge."
- Reading Manager Steve Clarke

Following a close run game against Derby at the Madejski on Tuesday night, Reading will be hoping to get back to winning ways against Bristol City at Ashton Gate. The recently promoted side has not started with a bang and currently find themselves in the relegation places. The Royals, subsequently, will be optimistic of a win to get themselves back on track.

Reading fans will be thoroughly disappointed with their last result, as Orlando Sa's first-half red card ultimately cost them at least a point from the game. Up until the sending off, Reading were the side on top and looked fully capable of taking all three points against a tough Derby side. Ultimately, it was a nicely taken Tom Ince goal that gave Derby the victory and moved the side narrowly above Reading in the league table. The Royals currently find themselves in eleventh, having won two, drawn three and lost two.

Bristol, thus far, will be somewhat concerned by their start to the season. Last time out their game against fellow promoted side Preston North End ended 1-1. Despite taking a point from the fixture, it is the kind of game that last year's League One champions would like to have won. It is, however, the exact mirror of when the two sides met last season, with Aaron Wilbraham coming up with the late equalising goal once more. Of the seven games played so far, Bristol have won only one, drawn two and lost four.

To find the last time the two sides met you have to go back to the 2011/12 season, when a 1-0 home win and a 3-2 away win earned Reading six out of six points against Bristol. You have to go back to 2010 to find the last time Bristol City were able to beat the Royals when a single goal earned the home side all three points. Ultimately, however, the match-ups between the two sides have been close in the past with Bristol City winning thirty-five to Reading's thirty-four.

Following Orlando Sa's red card against Derby, there will be at least one change made by Steve Clarke for this weekend's game. There will be many in contention to take his place in the squad including Lucas Piazon, Ola John and Garath McCleary. The Reading manager has also said that Paolo Hurtado and Alex Fernandez will be given an opportunity to impress in the upcoming matches so may make their debuts at the weekend. In terms of injuries, Anton Ferdinand is the main potential absence, having already missed the Derby match as a precaution, but Clarke will be optimistic that he can make a return to the side.

Steve Cotterill, meanwhile, may have Wes Burns back in the squad after his thigh strain but will be assessing the fitness of loan signing Nathan Baker, who was forced off in the opening fifteen minutes at Preston with a back injury. The Bristol City manager will be able to call upon Jonathan Kodjia and Aaron Wilbraham, however, who have scored four and two goals respectively so far this season.

If there were any teams that Clarke would particularly like to play following a defeat, the Robins would arguably be amongst them. Bristol currently have the second-leakiest defence so far this Championship season and subsequently find themselves in a relegation spot. The absence of Sa also gives the other squad members the platform to make an impression on both the manager and the fans. Based upon recent performances, you would have to consider the Royals as the favourites going into the game. This will, however, rely upon someone stepping up in Sa's place.

The game will also have an extra special focus for any #21forDolan supporters. Fans Ben Strickland and Will Davis are raising money for Cancer Research by cycling to Ashton Gate in support of the Reading Academy Manager. Any fans willing to contribute to the cause, visit and donate.

Reading and Bristol C - Head to head record (since August 1994)
Games Between Reading and Bristol C 17
Reading Wins 9
Bristol C Wins 6
Draws 2
Reading Goals 28
Bristol C Goals 29
Average Goals Per Game 3.35

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