News and Views

Late Drama As Royals Get Deserved Point

11 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

In a frantic final two minutes of added time Reading fell behind to a controversial goal then dramatically snatched a thoroughly deserved point when Figueirido defected Jordan Obita's superb cross in to his own net. The sense of injustice over Forest's goal was more than matched by the euphoria of Reading's immediate reply. It had been a very good game between two sides looking to extend their winning run. Something had to give, and in the end a draw was a fair result.
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Bowen Makes Eleven Changes For Cup Draw

04 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Mark Bowen's decision to make eleven changes to his starting line-up may not have been entirely to the liking of many Royals fans, but it produced a closely contested and entertaining cup tie resulting in both teams going into the draw for the Fourth Round on Monday. After a fairly subdued first half which saw The Seasiders take the lead against the run of play, the second half exploded into life with a flurry of goals and a missed penalty in a twelve minute spell ten minutes into the second half. Both sides will look back on the game as a missed opportunity to progress to the next round and avoid the inconvenience of a replay.
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Reading vs Blackpool FA Cup 3rd Round: Quick Analysis

02 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

For most Championship teams, promotion to the Premier League usually comes top of the pre-season wishlist. Reading have made up ground on the top six after four straight league wins over Christmas, but even with that amazing run promotion is still is huge ask with less than half the season left to play. However, a cup run can be a refreshing tonic for fans. It might seem unlikely for Reading to go on a decent run in the competition this year, but as we saw in 2015, the draw can unfold nicely for Championship teams.

The first order of business is, of course, the visit of Blackpool. Here's a preview of the game, and a guide of how the bookmakers see Reading's chances:

The Formbook

Reading pulled out a string of great results over Christmas and top the Championship form table but are still in the bottom half of the table. Fears of a relegation battle have certainly subsided, but the play-offs are still a full eight league places away. A cup run might be the best way to deliver some excitement while we wait to see if our league form can continue. Blackpool are just a few points off the League One Playoff spots. Perhaps the bad news for Royals fans is that Blackpool seem to have a knack of grinding out results away from home, losing just once on the road in the league this season.

The Odds

According to 888sport, Reading are 7/10 to win the game, with Blackpool at 4/1 and the draw at 11/4. However, looking at the stats, this might be the perfect fixture for online live betting as Blackpool tend to score early in games and Reading often leave it late (The Royals have netted 20 times in the second half this season, compared to just nine in the first).

The Blackpool Dangerman

Armand Gnanduillet is Blackpool's leading scorer this season, with the French-born striker finding the net 11 times this season. His all-round game is sometimes lacking though, and Blackpool boss Simon Grayson was forced to drop him earlier in the season. Gnanduillet is one of those players who will do nothing for an entire match and then suddenly pop up with a winner. That makes him a potential headache for Liam Moore and the rest of the Reading defence.

FA Cup Pedigree

Blackpool have made it past the third round just once in the last seven seasons, reaching the 4th round in the 2016/17 season. Unlike Reading, however, they can point to an FA Cup Trophy in the cabinet at Bloomfield Road. That was the Stanley Matthews' Final of 1953, but they have not made it beyond the Sixth Round in the 66 intervening years. Reading have had the misfortune of coming up against Manchester United in two out of the last three seasons, but have done well against non-Premier League opposition most seasons, notably during that run to the semis in 2015.



Verdict

This is certainly not a glamour tie, but it should be viewed as an opportunity by Mark Bowen and the team. Some big names - Wolves vs Manchester United, Liverpool vs Everton - have been drawn against each other, and there are lots of ties that feature no Premier League teams so the 4th round draw could be kind to Reading should they overcome Blackpool. Let's not put the cart before the horse though, and you can see that the bookies are hesitant about making Reading overwhelming favourites; Blackpool are no mugs.

More:

Reading -v- Blackpool - Fixture History >>

Swift Grabs Win With Christmas Cracker

26 December 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

A brilliant long range strike by John Swift after fifty-two minutes proved to be the difference between the teams in an open and action packed encounter at the Madjeski Stadium this evening. Reading moved up to fifteenth place in the table following this, their second home victory and clean sheet in successive home games. Both 'keepers were kept on their toes as the game ebbed and flowed with both teams creating ample chances to have won comfortably. There was a lot of space in midfield which neither team exploited fully over the ninety minutes. Reading had to defend well, desperately at times towards the end, to hang on to all three points.
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