When : Saturday 25 September 2021, 12.30pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
After the surprise at Craven Cottage comes a very different challenge in the shape of a visit from one of Reading’s bogey teams in a game that will not help the cause due to a) the “Colin” factor plus the fact that b) for some god only knows obscure reason Sky have decided that it needs to be shown to anyone with one of their sports subscriptions.
As was the case with the last visit from this lot, they are not on a particularly good run having managed only 9 points from 2 wins and 3 draws from the 8 league games played to date. However that is better than the 4 points from 6 games that they found themselves on the last time they showed up and they still ran out comfortable winners so there is every reason for Reading to make sure they are on their mettle and every reason to try and and break the awful run of games against Middlesbrough that has seen just 1 point taken from the last 9 attempts.
Former Reading youth player (0 appearances in 2 seasons when he was about 17 and Reading were last in the PL) Uche Ikpeazu is now one of the main strikers at ‘boro having signed from Wycombe in the summer. As is usual in these situations Reading will need to ensure he is kept quiet but not let that distract them from “looking after” the likes of Jonny Howson, Dael Fry and on loan Cameroon international James Siliki in a fairly lively midfield at the north eastern club.
Middlesbrough’s Paddy McNair is expected to return after injury but full back Anfernee Djiksteel is like to miss out after a hamstring problem suffered in ‘boro’s home defeat to Blackpool last weekend. Meanwhile Reading’s injury hell grew again last weekend with Tom Holmes joining Rafael, Moore, Meite, Joao, Rinomhota, Araruna, McIntyre, Azeez (not to mention Dann, Dann the not fit yet defender man) as the club continued to maintain their average of losing a player to injury in every game that they play. That said Rafael and Rinomhota maybe fit enough to be considered for this game.
From the Premier League list I give you Peter “first Reading game for exactly 2 years” Bankes
25 Sep 2019 > Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Reading (League Cup)
21 Aug 2019 > West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Reading
16 Mar 2019 > Stoke City 0-0 Reading
16 Dec 2017 > Ipswich Town 2-0 Reading
25 Feb 2017 > Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 Reading
21 Jan 2017 > Derby County 3-2 Reading
30 Jan 2016 > Reading 4-0 Walsall (FA Cup)
20 Dec 2015 > Reading 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
08 Aug 2015 > Birmingham City 2-1 Reading
18 previous seasons, all bar 3 since 1987, so 18 previous visits from the ‘boro. Those 18 games haven’t worked out too well so far with 5 wins, 6 draws and 7 defeats. The last 360 minutes of football played against Middlesbrough at the Mad Stad has been particularly grotty with Reading managing to score just once while conceding 7 and collecting precisely 0 points in the process.
So all in all not really a game to look forward to.
How to follow the game
- Get a ticket and travel
- Sky TV
- Listen to Radio 5 Live and/or a myriad of other radio stations for score flashes
- Ring/text a mate for updates
- Use a RoyalsTV subscription
- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)