News and Views

Reading Travel To Out Of Form Birmingham

31 January 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Alongside all the news and rumours on transfer deadline day, the Royals travel to Birmingham City tonight in the Championship as they look to build on a run of two league wins over Fulham and Cardiff City. Those two wins allowed Jaap Stam and his team to put behind them in a blip in form that saw them temporarily drop from third place. The Royals now find themselves back in third and eight points clear of seventh place and, with 28 games of the season played, now have to be recognised as serious play-off contenders.

New signing winger Adrian Popa, who arrived this week from Steaua Bucharest, is unlikely to be able to play as he waits for his international clearance to be confirmed. With Tiago Ilori out injured, the Royals look set to bring in Reece Oxford on loan from West Ham United to fill the gap in the centre of defence. However Oxford will also have to wait before making his debut. Liam Moore will be playing in the centre of defence but Stam has limited other options. McShane is likely to feature despite injury and Tyler Blackett will replace Joey van den Berg who failed to complete the first half against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Birmingham City are down in 12th place and in terrible form, without a win in 9 games in all competitions. Their last seven league games have returned just three points as they slipped from in the hunt for a play-off spot to midtable. Birmingham manager Gianfranco Zola finds himself under pressure to conjure up a win from somewhere and would perhaps be wishing for an easier game this evening: "In Reading, we're playing a side that plays good football and will create problems for us. So, we will have to be stronger and compact while at the same time not just go forward. It will have to be a complete performance."

Recent Meetings With Birmingham City

13 September 2016 Championship Birmingham (HOME) D: 0-0 Read report...
09 April 2016 Championship Birmingham (HOME) L: 0-2 Read report...
08 August 2015 Championship Birmingham (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...
22 April 2015 Championship Birmingham (HOME) L: 0-1 Read report...
13 December 2014 Championship Birmingham (Away) L: 1-6 Read report...
22 March 2014 Championship Birmingham (Away) W: 2-1 Read report...
28 September 2013 Championship Birmingham (HOME) W: 2-0 Read report...
28 April 2012 Championship Birmingham (Away) L: 0-2 Read report...
06 November 2011 Championship Birmingham (HOME) W: 1-0 Read report...
03 May 2009 Championship Birmingham (HOME) L: 1-2 Read report...
20 December 2008 Championship Birmingham (Away) W: 3-1 Read report...
22 March 2008 Premiership Birmingham (HOME) W: 2-1 Read report...
15 December 2007 Premiership Birmingham (Away) D: 1-1 Read report...
27 January 2007 FA Cup Birmingham (Away) W: 3-2 Read report...
07 February 2006 FA Cup Birmingham (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...
28 January 2006 FA Cup Birmingham (HOME) D: 1-1 Read report...


Discussion On This Story:


» 30 Jan 2017 12:50

Off to St Andrews then in an attempt to avoid the usual misery that tends to follow games with our midland friends. Even more so with Birmingham on a run of nine games without a win as we all know what tends to happen when playing sides with those sorts of records e.g. Villa no away wins for a year, Fulham one home win all season, Derby no league goals in god knows how long etc.

This is the sort of demanding game we're going to have aplenty over the next few weeks. Something that looks winnable but isn't going to be easy especially as we seem to be entering another defensive crisis and could be in real trouble if another centre back succumbs to injury or suspension.

Birmingham are in the process of rebuilding under new manager Zola and have already signed three new names; Cheick Keita, Emilio Nsue and Kerim Frei who could all be involved in the game. Thankfully Clayton Donaldson is injured and Greg Stewart is likely to miss out but the likes of Lukas Jutkiewicz and David Cotterill are still willing to inflict damage.

Reading have Berg, Quinn, Rakels, Harriott and Ilori all missing. Kermorgant, Blackett and Obita are also thought to be less serious carrying knocks. On the upside there is a small chance new signing Adrian Popa could on the bench.


Lancashire's Jeremy Simpson will be the man in control for this one, his 5th Reading game in just over a year


17 Dec 2016 > Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Reading
09 Sep 2016 > Reading 2-1 Ipswich Town (managed to book 9 players)
16 Apr 2016 > Leeds United 3-2 Reading
09 Jan 2016 > Huddersfield Town 2-2 Reading (FA Cup 3)
20 Oct 2015 > Rotherham United 1-1 Reading


It took Reading until 1986 before they managed a league game with Birmingham and of the first nine league games played between the sides, seven ended in draws. To me it just seems that the fixture has subsequently struggled with an air of dour tedium ever since - particularly as Birmingham have won more games than Reading both home and away :evil:

This game will be the fifteenth league visit to St Andrews and while Reading have accounted for four wins, Birmingham have recorded six including the utterly embarrassing 6-1 "effort" that finally did for Adkins just over a couple of years ago.

Usually there are goals in this game and a clean sheet for either side is a bit unlikely (esp. in Reading's case having managed just the one to Birmingham's three). Put simply a 0-0 is the least likely outcome (so you now all know what score to put your wedge on).


» 30 Jan 2017 16:39


450 Away fans.


» 30 Jan 2017 20:04

Birmingham have been sliding down the league since sacking Rowett and Zola is still to record a win.

So congrats on the 3 points tomorrow Brummies.

Seriously though, we'll win 2-0.


» 30 Jan 2017 23:31

I can only see us keeping Jutkiewicz quiet if both McShane & Moore are fit.

I also hope Jaap puts Evans in for Swift to firm up the middle a bit and give an outlet (I think we would miss Williams / Kelly's energy)



» 31 Jan 2017 00:21


Despite scoring the goal Swift hasn't been great of late. Keep on the bench and bring him on and let him prove something. Williams is Williams but Kelly is the only one currently undropable. Controls everything.


» 31 Jan 2017 18:40

Al-Habsi, Gunter, Moore, Blackett, Obita, Evans, Williams, Swift, Kelly, Beerens, McCleary

Popa on the bench.


» 31 Jan 2017 18:45

Ok, what injury has McShane got now, any clues anywhere?

And I presume Yann is on the bench?

Think we're going to struggle....

 Royal Ginger

» 31 Jan 2017 18:47

Both Kermorgant and McShane were struggling at the end of the Cardiff game. Digging deep tonight.

Obita and Blackett both supposedly carrying knocks too. Could potentially end up with Evans and Weiser at the back by the end of the night.


» 31 Jan 2017 18:47

I'm of the opinion a result tonight would be very good indeed. I'd certainly take a point.


» 31 Jan 2017 19:04

Anyone remember Danzell Gravenberch?


» 31 Jan 2017 19:06

No Yann is a big blow as is McShane

Obv the game on Saturday took its toll. Win here missing those 2 would be a fine achievement


» 31 Jan 2017 19:08

Only 6 named subs

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