When : Saturday 3rd November, 3pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
Next up to collect their 3 points is Bristol City.
And why not, the misfiring shambles masquerading as Reading FC it seems can only beat other struggling non-entities so a half decent side like Bristol City is probably going to be too much for them. This is a team that have gone from strength to strength off the pitch while keeping it together quite well, thankyou very much, on the pitch.
The Robins are on a run of 2 wins in 8 (or 2 wins in 3 if you want to be pessimistic) and are currently sitting midtable with 22 points. Their last away trip resulted in a 1-0 win at Brentford. It's been a mixed bag for them with an iffy start being replaced by 4 successive wins before mediocrity set in so this is a team that are definitely beatable but that can also play a bit IF YOU LET THEM.
And, you see, that's Reading's main problem, they let the opposition play far too often and for far too long and that comes from the weak and completely unbalanced midfield options that Reading have available. I'm expecting to see Bacuna, Swift and Kelly again because there just isn't anyone else the manager will try. Meyler is hopeless, Eza is injured, Edwards is both injured and hopeless leaving the inexperienced Rinomhota. Perhaps PC should try Rinomhota instead of Kelly or Swift as it surely can't make things any worse in that area and at least the player would get some of that much needed experience.
Of course, presuming he is still manager on Saturday, PC might try a completely different formation. We might see two strikers with 5 at the back or a good old fashioned 4-4-2 as desperation starts to take hold. Certainly expect yet more fiddling about with the team to accommodate something different and/or the mystery injury that'll be picked up in training this week. Perhaps even Barrow might be returned to the XI following his unknown discipline issue.
City should have Nathan Baker, Mo Eisa and Hakeeb Adelakun back from injury while Reading will still be missing Eza and Obita (are the other players injured worth mentioning?).
So, on the whole, this game is winnable and despite the malaise hanging over the club this past year the squad has the talent to get the points. If Reading can just play on the front foot from the off rather than sit back and wait for stuff to happen they'll at least make a good game of it and at the end of the day that's what you need to give yourself a fighting chance. Even a point would be good measure so long as that can be capitalised on against Ipswich next week.
To be confirmed later in the week.
Historically with Bristol City
This will be the 91st time the two teams have met in the league. Pretty even down the years with Reading just edging ahead on wins by 37 to 36 with 17 draws. At home Reading have 23 wins to 12 defeats (10 draws) and have netted on 74 occasions while conceding 63.
Last year's starting line up
Mannone, Gunter, Berg, McShane, Moore, Blackett, Kelly, Aluko, Barrow, Bacuna, Bodvarsson
Subs - Jaakkola, Beerens, Evans, McCleary, Edwards, Ilori, Clement
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)