When : Saturday 29th December, 3pm
Where : Loftus Road Stadium, South Africa Road, London, W12 7PA
Capacity : 18,439
Away Stand : School End (Upper Tier)
What might I see in the area : Steptoe & Son
The miserable playing record that is now no wins in 8 makes its tiresome trail to west London for (thankfully) the last game of this truly awful year to face a really quite useful Queens Park Rangers who are now hanging around the fringes of the play offs.
2018. The year that has so far seen Reading play 56 games (incl. 6 preseason friendlies) and win a whopping 9 of them. Talk solely of league games and it's 47 games with just 7 wins and 14 draws. That means Reading have earned 35 points from more or less a complete season of games. About as truly awful as any team could ever be in this modern age of the professional game.
And now it’s QPR. QPR are on a run of 3 straight wins including victories at home to Middlesbrough and away at high flying Nottingham Forest (their first ever win at the City Ground in 35 attempts). To add to the difficulty of the challenge QPR have only failed to score once since 29th September (14 games) and they have kept two successive clean sheets though did concede 11 goals in the 6 games previous to that.
Injury wise QPR will be without Tomer Hemed while Reading have Obita, Ilori, McIntyre, Gunter and Eza injured though Ilori and Gunter might make the game. On top of that Bacuna and Blackett are both suspended so Gomes gets a further opportunity to learn about his available options.
Therefore I’d expect O’Shea to reappear alongside Moore to give more experience to the back line rather than the youth of Osho. Radar absentees Kelly or Meyler should get a shout in place of Bacuna in midfield. Overall I personally think Gomes sees attack as the best form of defence so I would expect a fairly attacking line up.
Robert Jones is taking charge of this one.
03 Aug 18 > Reading 1-2 Derby County
13 Mar 18 > Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 Reading
30 Jan 18 > Burton Albion 1-3 Reading
QPR and Reading are regular opponents of each other. Right back into Victorian times they’ve been knocking six bells out of each other with the only gap of any real note being when QPR caught a bout of ambition back in the late 60s which saw them disappear into loftier circulation for the best part of 3 decades. Luckily Reading had been successfully vaccinated against ambition at some point in the mid 1950s and so managed to avoid such pretensions until well into the 1990s.
Yet despite this and the ongoing protestations from both camps over who has the actual right to wear blue and white hoops this is another of those should be derby games that aren’t derby games.
So this is the 45th season and 90th time the two clubs have gone in search of Football League points. It’s therefore the 45th visit to the “Meccano bowl”, that hybrid of steel and wood that masquerades as a football stadium down in deepest, darkest Shepherd’s Bush.
As you’d probably expect the home side has had much the better of things with Reading managing only 11 victories compared to the 20 so far notched by the “fakes”. One minor achievement is in view though as the next league goal Reading score there will be their 50th. Reading are also on a run of only one win thin the last 8 league trips to West London.
How to follow the game
- Get a ticket and travel to the game
- 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)