When : Saturday 14th December, 3pm
Where : Bet365 Stadium, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke On Trent, ST4 4EG
Capacity : 30,089
Away Stand : One side of the Sharp stand behind the south goal
What might I see in the area : pottery
Stoke City are the next test for the desperate performances of the mighty Reading. A trip round Brmingham and up the ever clogged M6 for what seems an eternity is what many supporters will have to endure - not to mention the likelihood of a fairly dour give nothing away type of game.
Stoke have not had a good time of things so far, in fact a lot worse than Reading's "el cr@po" season so far. Like Reading they have a wealth of under achieving talent such as Sam Clucas, Scott Hogan, Jack Butland, Joe Allen, Sam Vokes, Nick Powell and Tom Ince but their under achievements are currently in danger of leading them into the third tier.
Looking at their record so far they are on a run of 3 wins and 6 defeats from their last 9, those wins were at Barnsley, home to Wigan and their last game out at home to Luton so they are making the most of the games against weaker sides. However they are also capable of springing surprises and have beaten both Swansea and Fulham so there should be zero complacency from Reading. The other thing to note is that their wins seem to come along in pairs and they are currently on a run of one successive win....
Similar to the last couple of opponents Reading face a team with a manager recently appointed permanently into the role with ex Reading loanee Michael O'Neill having been given the job about a month ago. He started well by winning his first couple of games in charge but then three straight defeats followed but is back on the up after the Luton victory.
Sam Clucas is the leading scorer for the Potters with 5 goals from 20 games, Sam Vokes and Lee Gregory are next in line on 3 goals each so again it would be fairly imperative to marshal these gentlemen correctly.
Stoke welcomed Ryan Shawcross back against Luton after he recovered from a pre-season broken leg but he only lasted a quarter of an hour before being subbed for Danny Batth so must now be a serious doubt for this game. In addition Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielder Badou Ndiaye are doubts through illness. Reading have Mr Swift and Mr Yiadom injured and a doubt over Mr Puscas but are relatively injury free otherwise.
Usual thing. This is not going to be easy for Reading but if they can stay solid and take their game to the opposition then they obviously will have a good chance of getting something. Trouble is Reading have struggled badly in starting most games this season so it's probably not going to be easy to break that mould.
it's a rare meeting with Lee Mason for this one
10 Apr 18 > Fulham 1-0 Reading
22 Apr 15 > Reading 0-1 Birmingham City
02 Feb 13 > Reading 2-1 Sunderland
22 Aug 12 > Chelsea 4-2 Reading
The 23 previous visits to Stoke in the league have brought Reading 6 wins and 5 draws so probably not too bad for northern trek in the scheme of things. The biggest win there was 4-0 almost 20 or so years ago while the heaviest defeat was by 5-0
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)