News and Views

Last Chance To Challenge For Top Two

24 February 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading travel to Brighton this Saturday knowing that only a victory will keep alive any outside chance of automatic promotion this season. Following Tuesday night's 0-1 defeat at promotion rivals Huddersfield, the Royals are 8 points behind second placed Brighton but have also played an extra game. An unlikely Reading win would keep the dream alive, but any other result will realisitically confirm that the Royals only chance of promotion this season will be through the play-offs. Reading are currently well clear of seventh placed Fulham but will still need to maintain decent form to finish in the top six.

Neither Reading or Brighton have any new injury problems ahead of the game, and Jaap Stam has options to shuffle things around after Tuesday's defeat. Paul McShane was back from injury mid-week but ended up being an unused substitute. Reading only conceeded the single late goal at Huddersfield but McShane may still find himself back alongside the ever reliable Liam Moore as Reading look to keep Brighton out.

Joey Van den Berg is fit but may find that he unable to get back in the starting eleven after Stam strengthened his squad during the transfer window. Grabban and Kermorgant again were not paired together with Kermorgant replacing Grabban from the bench with 20 minutes to play - perhaps Stam may change things up front as Reading will need to find the net. Popa looked very lively when he played the last half an hour and will be hoping for more involvement this weekend.

Reading have lost to Brighton just twice in their last 15 meetings (both 0-1 away defeats) and have won 8 of those fixtures. This season we drew 2-2 at the Madejski Stadium back in August before a surprise 2-1 victory at Brighton in the League Cup. Quinn and Swift were on the scoresheet that evening. Unfortunately our last league game in Brighton was one of those 0-1 defeats - and it will be Brighton who are firm favourites for the victory and another big step towards a top two finish and a place in the Premier League.

The game is being screened live on Sky Sports this Saturday, with a 5:30pm kick-off.

Recent Meetings With Brighton and Hove Albion:

20 September 2016 League Cup Brighton (Away) W: 2-1 Read report...
20 August 2016 Championship Brighton (HOME) D: 2-2 Read report...
15 March 2016 Championship Brighton (Away) L: 0-1 Read report...
31 October 2015 Championship Brighton (HOME) D: 1-1 Read report...
10 March 2015 Championship Brighton (HOME) W: 2-1 Read report...
26 December 2014 Championship Brighton (Away) D: 2-2 Read report...
08 March 2014 Championship Brighton (Away) D: 1-1 Read report...
04 January 2014 FA Cup Brighton (Away) L: 0-1 Read report...
15 September 2013 Championship Brighton (HOME) D: 0-0 Read report...
10 April 2012 Championship Brighton (Away) W: 1-0 Read report...
26 December 2011 Championship Brighton (HOME) W: 3-0 Read report...


Discussion On This Story:


» 24 Feb 2017 09:10

2-1 to Reading, Kelly and McCleary. Murray for Brighton.


(At least for the start)

 Gunny Fishcake

» 24 Feb 2017 09:29

Probably need a bit of lady luck with this one, but cant see it, sadly a 2-0 defeat

 No Fixed Abode

» 24 Feb 2017 09:57

3-0 to Brighton.


» 24 Feb 2017 10:03

1-1 or 2-1 Reading


» 24 Feb 2017 11:39

I think he'll pick the same side. Personally would bring in Evans for Mutch.

Haven't been especially impressed when I watched Brighton, but they are obviously up there for a reason. Our record against the top sides away common knowledge, so reckon a 2-0 defeat unfortunately, with some dodgy penalty/sending off to blame


» 24 Feb 2017 11:51

That would be my starting eleven, never have got my head round the Williams love in!


» 24 Feb 2017 12:07

I want:

Al-Habsi; Gunter, McShane, Moore, Obita; Kelly, Evans, Swift; McCleary, Kermorgant, Beerens

I'm expecting:

Al-Habsi; McShane, Moore, Blackett; Gunter, Williams, VDB, Mutch, Obita; McCleary, Grabban


» 24 Feb 2017 12:09

They've been a bit less consistent of late so now may be our best chance to play them, hoping we can get a draw, a win would be amazing.


» 24 Feb 2017 13:26

1-1 draw


» 24 Feb 2017 13:37

I actually think this match we are more likely to get something out of than we were on Tuesday night, Brighton's style and personnel plays a bit more into our hands. Having said that, I was surprised at just how well we coped with the high intensity press that Huddersfield employ, even if it did yield nil reward. Brighton, while possessing better quality individual players, always appear vulnerable and so for that reason I think we'll notch. I reckon we'll get a point at least. Gonna go with 2-2.


» 24 Feb 2017 15:29

If we are going to win, I think we may do it in style and win convincingly.

2-1 up inside 60 minutes, Brighton chase the equaliser late on and we go on the counter attack to win 3-1.


» 24 Feb 2017 15:50

Come on Kermorgant last minute winner, the meltdown on NSC would be historic.

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