When : Friday 9th April 2021, 7.45pm
Where : Vicarage Road, Watford, WD18 0ER
Capacity : 22,200
Biggest game of the season next, a trip up the road to Watford. Trouble is that, at the moment, in this run-in Reading have no leeway, no cushion to buffer the likely dropping of points in games like this and with Barnsley and Bournemouth both with home games on Saturday things could become a whole lot different for the Biscuitmen by Sunday.
Watford are on the sort of run that Reading started the season with having racked up 10 wins and a draw from their last 12 games, consequently they are now odds on to join Norwich in an instant return to the PL. In addition to their current run the home form of the Hornets is the best in the division with only 2 defeats (to Cardiff and QPR) and 16 victories from 20 attempts, also those 20 games have seen them concede just 12 goals so it’s going to take quite a special effort from Reading to leave the ground with any form of pointage.
Ismailia Sarr is the star man, still being linked with a summer move to Liverpool or ManU, he is leading the Watford scoring charts with 10 goals from 35 appearances and if doesn’t manage to score Joao Pedro needs to be carefully sidelined from the game to stop adding to his 9 goals. Tom Cleverly and Nathanial Chalobah will cause problems from midfield so Reading are going to need to match them and more to ensure there is some service to Joao and/or Puscas and/or Meite.
Troy Deeney is injured, so there is some little respite, but Reading are once again being hampered by injuries with McIntyre, Araruna and Morrison all out and Richards a concern after limping off v Derby. John Swift is apparently now back in training this week so may well get a place on the bench on Friday.
06 Mar 21 > Reading 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday
29 Jan 21 > Reading 3-1 Bournemouth
04 Jul 20 > Luton Town 0-5 Reading
28 Jan 20 > Reading 0-1 Bristol City
26 Dec 19 > Reading 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
03 Aug 19 > Reading 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday
08 Dec 18 > Reading 0-2 Sheffield United
03 Nov 18 > Reading 3-2 Bristol City
06 Mar 18 > Reading 1-1 Bolton Wanderers
02 Jan 18 > Reading 0-2 Birmingham City
09 Sep 17 > Reading 0-1 Bristol City
08 Apr 17 > Norwich City 7-1 Reading
24 Sep 16 > Reading 1-0 Huddersfield Town
21 Nov 15 > Reading 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
02 May 15 > Derby County 0-3 Reading
28 Dec 14 > Reading 2-1 Norwich City
21 Nov 14 > Cardiff City 2-1 Reading
12 Aug 14 > Reading 3-1 Newport County (League Cup)
10 Sep 11 > Reading 0-2 Watford
30 Apr 11 > Coventry City 0-0 Reading
22 Jan 11 > Reading 1-1 Hull City
02 May 10 > Reading 4-0 Preston North End
30 Jan 10 > Reading 1-0 Barnsley
This is another of the "should be but isn't" derbies. Watford is around 40 miles from Reading and the two clubs have been fairly regular opponents down the years with this being the 51st season shared together. Before this season the two clubs were inseparable with 39 league wins each.
As with the reverse fixture for Watford, this fixture is the proverbial graveyard for Reading with Vicarage Road being one of the worst places the club has to go to play league games. Of the the 50 previous visits Reading have just 9 wins to show for their efforts while Watford have won 31 times. In addition Reading have had a tendency to concede goals there like it’s going out out of fashion having let in 93 which is almost 2 a game while Watford’s defence has only been breached on 33 occasions.
Therefore it will take quite something to reverse the general trend of misery that comes with this league fixture so perhaps we can all be relieved that it isn’t revered as a derby game.
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
- Use an iFollow subscription
- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)