When : Saturday, 4 January, 3.01pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
Cup magic hoves into view with a home game against lower league opposition in Blackpool. While this game might look to be a home banker we all know that in reality Blackpool will turn up with nothing to lose and have a right old go while, no doubt, Reading will play the “big time Charlie” card and not field a full strength side so as to make it as difficult as possible for there to be anything remotely comfortable about the game.
Blackpool are due to visit Rotherham on New Year’s Day and currently sit in 10th place in Division 3/League 1. So far they have despatched Morecambe (4-1) and Maidstone (3-1) (both at home) to reach this stage of the competition. Their form is currently a bit “iffy” with 0 wins and 2 draws from their last 4 games but have won 6 of their last 12 games across all competitions.
Armand Gnanduillet Is the standout player for Blackpool with 13 goals from 23 appearances in all competitions. Another name to watch is Sullay Kaikai who is a useful winger and also second highest scorer on 4 goals. One time alleged Reading target Ben Heneghan, Nathan Delfouneso and Jay Spearing are other current Blackpool names that you will probably have heard before, while midfielder Jordan Thompson is attracting interest from several Division 2/Championship clubs.
Reading are likely to make changes as seems to be the precedent in cup competitions these days. Personally I’d rather Reading put out a full strength side in order to try and maintain momentum and maximise the chance of a good cup run. I would expect Charlie Adam to play some part of the game though given the strong links between himself and Blackpool.
John Brooks is still looking for his first Reading win.
27 Apr 19 > Middlesbrough 2-1 Reading
09 Feb 19 > Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Reading
26 Jan 18 > Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Reading (FA Cup 4)
23 Dec 17 > Reading 1-2 Burton Albion
This is the first cup game of any sort to be played against Blackpool. Previous league games between the clubs have returned 17 Reading wins to 12 for the Seasiders from 40 games played.
In Reading there have been 12 wins for the Royals against 2 for Blackpool and a Reading have won the last 6 games played at home. Blackpool’s last win in Reading was on 26th April 1980 which means a current run of 15 visits and no wins for Simon Grayson’s team.
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)