News and Views

Royals Travel To League Leaders

04 October 2013
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading are set for a real test this weekend as they travel to Championship leaders Burnley. It's been an interesting season for the Royals so far. The statistics show one league defeat all season, and Reading are currently on the back of a six game unbeaten run. Those figures suggest a team on form but in truth Reading seem like they haven't quite managed to get playing to the best of their potential yet. On Tuesday night we limped to a 1-1 away draw at bottom of the table Barnsley. Meanwhile Burnley were 2-0 away winners at Doncaster Rovers. Burnley are unbeaten at home all season in league and cup. Reading's run looks good but Burnley have now won seven out of eight games and will be favourites to add that tally.

Danny Guthrie is one player who has stood out this season and as a result he's been named in the shortlist for the Championship player of the month for September. It's fully deserved for a player that struggled on and off the pitch under Brian McDermott but has now hit top form and top attitude under Nigel Adkins. It's an interesting turn around, and a huge bonus for the Royals. The loss of Jem Karacan to long term injury after being stretchered off in the Leeds game was a big blow. He is set to be out for several months after undergoing cruciate ligament surgery. Chris Baird was signed immediately after Karacan's injury was confirmed and has also done well after arriving on loan as Reading continue to build a strong team. We're starting to score a few goals after sorting out the defensive issues from earlier this season. Reading have let in just two goals in our run of six undefeated games.

Reading duo Danny Williams and Royston Drenthe should both be back in contention to play against Burnley after missing the mid-week game against Barnsley due to minor injuries. Ignoring Burnley's superb start to the season, a look at previous fixtures should give Reading fans some hope of closing the gap at the top of the table. We've won 12 of the last 24 fixtures home and away, and Burnley have won just five. Reading have won the last five games between the two sides. That run includes four Championship games, in which we've scored eight goals and let in just the one. Our last trip to Burnley was a 1-0 victory thanks to a Jem Karacan strike deep in injury time. Obviously we'd take that again, but if Reading can pick up a point this weekend it will be a big achievement.

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