When : Saturday, 24th October 2020, 3pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
And now banana skin number 2 hoves into view, Rotherham United.
This will not be easy blah, blah, blah, can’t just turn up and expect to win blah, blah, blah and all the other cliches we know are suitable for this situation. Basically the management need to do their homework and ensure the players are correctly organised and treat the opposition with the correct amount of respect then things should work out in a good way for Reading.
Rotherham have started the season not too badly for a promoted side that lots of people reckon will go straight back down again. Of the 6 games played to date Rotherham have won 1, drawn 3 and lost 2. Both the losses were at home by 1 goal to Millwall and Norwich while away from home the Millers are a different proposition altogether having won at Wycombe and drawn at Forest and Birmingham. All games have been very tight though with just a goal in either direction or all square so my expectation is for a well organised but mobile defensive unit to turn up and make it as difficult as possible for Reading to break through.
Rotherham do seem to have a weakness though in that they struggle to hang on; the game at Birmingham saw them fall to a 90th minute equalising penalty, at home to Huddersfield the Terriers equalised in the 96th minute and Norwich took all three points thanks to another penalty, this time in the 95th minute.
But, unfortunately, Reading are at home and after getting away with the largely turgid display against Wycombe you can see the likely problems that the league leaders (god that feels good) are going to have before a ball is even kicked. VP is going to have to pull all the man-motivational skills he has out of the magic hat for this one.
The Millers have some injury worries though with lively winger Chiedozie Ogbene out for a while and Clark Robertson out for 3/4 months after being injured against Norwich. In addition former Reading youngster Angus MacDonald misses out after picking up a 3 match ban also against Norwich. However Freddie Ladapo, Dan Barlaser and on the loan Florian Jozefzoon are all available.
Reading will have the usual long term absentees not available and after the Wycombe performance I would presume there will be a change or two to the team with Esteves starting at least.
12 Feb 20 > Reading 1-2 West Brimwich Albion
11 Dec 19 > Barnsley 1-1 Reading
21 Sep 19 > Reading 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
10 Aug 19 > Hull City 1-0 Reading
Reading have a good home record against Rotherham. In the 22 previous league games Rotherham have only won once (3-0 in May 1977) which leaves 14 victories for Reading and 7 draws.
Rotherham have managed just 2 goals in their last 9 visits but those goals were scored on their last 2 visits.
Reading have also won the last 4 of the last 5 played at home and, overall, have scored 34 times to Rotherham’s 15.
How to follow the game
- Listen to Radio 5 Live and/or a myriad of other radio stations for score flashes
- Ring/text a mate for updates
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- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)