News and Views

Wednesday And Reading Hope To Stay In Top Six

16 March 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The run of tough away fixtures against play-off and promotion rivals continues with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Friday evening. The Royals travel to Sheffield after recent away defeats at Preston, Brighton and Huddersfield. Those three defeats, in which Reading have failed to score a goal, have cast Reading's promotion hopes into serious doubt with the Royals now just three points inside the play-off positions. Fulham, one place outside the play-offs, are hoping to sneak into sixth place at the expense of either the Royals or Wednesday. All the games are crucial at this stage of the season, but another away defeat for Reading could have serious consequences on a top six finish.

Reading have only won two games out of their last eight - that's hardly the form of a promotion chasing side. Away from home we have picked up just a single point from our last four attempts. The only consolation for Reading is that Sheffield Wednesday's recent form is so similar. The form for both sides in the league reads two defeats, a win and a draw, followed by another defeat. While Reading were losing 0-3 at Preston last weekend, the Owls were losing 0-2 at Aston Villa. However Wednesday's last two home games have been a 5-1 win over Norwich City and a 1-1 draw with Burton Albion. The Royals will need a change in their form away from the Madejski to get anything from this. If Reading are beaten on the road again they are likely to be the only team in the top ten with a negative goal difference.

Jaap Stam may happily state that the plan was never to get promoted this season, but having been in the play-off positions for most of the season, it will still be a huge disappointment to drop out of the top six on the final run in. Reading were third in the table for ages before the recent drop in form. The outside chance of automatic promotion has long gone but Reading should still remain favourites for a play-off finish.

After a poor defensive performance at Preston, Stam may have both Liam Moore and Paul McShane available for selection. Moore has been out injured and McShane was replaced after 73 minutes at Preston - giving Reece Oxford some rare time on the pitch. Stam's changes this week will probably be in defence, but there are question marks in midfield where Liam Kelly could be back in the side after being rested. George Evans was an unused substitute last weekend and is another option. For the home side striker Forestieri is expected to miss out through injury and defender Vincent Sasso will definately be ruled out as he begins his suspension.

Recent Meetings With Sheffield Wednesday

10 December 2016 Championship Sheff Wed (HOME) W: 2-1 Read report...
23 January 2016 Championship Sheff Wed (HOME) D: 1-1 Read report...
19 August 2015 Championship Sheff Wed (Away) D: 1-1 Read report...
31 January 2015 Championship Sheff Wed (HOME) W: 2-0 Read report...
20 September 2014 Championship Sheff Wed (Away) L: 0-1 Read report...
08 February 2014 Championship Sheff Wed (HOME) L: 0-2 Read report...
02 November 2013 Championship Sheff Wed (Away) L: 2-5 Read report...
27 February 2010 Championship Sheff Wed (HOME) W: 5-0 Read report...
05 December 2009 Championship Sheff Wed (Away) W: 2-0 Read report...
03 March 2009 Championship Sheff Wed (Away) W: 2-1 Read report...
16 September 2008 Championship Sheff Wed (HOME) W: 6-0 Read report...


Discussion On This Story:


» 15 Mar 2017 11:20

A night out in Sheffield beckons on a glorious Friday for another go at trying to get points away from home against a team in the top six having failed on every other attempt thus far. And a result, in any form of pointage, would probably be considered glorious based on that run

Sheffield Wednesday, like Reading, are starting to feel the nerves as the business end of the season rapidly approaches and are looking nervously towards the likes of Fulham and Norwich who are a getting a little too close to the partaking of the end of season extra fun for good measure.

Thankfully the Owls are struggling a little with team selections as not only will defender Vincent Sasso be missing through suspension, after his dismissal at Aston Villa, but Tom Lees, Kieran Lee, Sam Hutchinson, Gary Hooper and Almen Abdi are all sidelined through injury. On top of that manager Carlos Carvalho was also dismissed by the referee at Villa and, perhaps most importantly, it is also touch and go whether striker Fernando Forestieri will be available due to injury.

Reading hope to have both Moore and McShane fit for the excursion up north but Jordon Mutch is expected to miss after picking up a knock at Preston. Other than that it’s pretty much a full squad save for the usual absentees of whom only Rakels has a chance of involvement.


It’s County Durham’s Geoff Eltringham taking up the reins for this one


04 Feb 2017 > Ipswich Town 2-2 Reading
13 Dec 2016 > Leeds United 2-0 Reading
02 Apr 2016 > Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Reading
12 Dec 2015 > Preston North End 1-0 Reading
07 Apr 2015 > Blackpool 1-1 Reading
23 Nov 2013 > Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Reading
14 Feb 2012 > Derby County 0-1 Reading


Not a particularly happy hunting ground for Reading but then probably about average for the club for a northern trek and only nine previous league visits. Of those nine two have been won and four lost. However Reading have not won on any of their last three visits, losing twice, and shipping seven goals in the process (although five of those came in the same game).

 The Informant

» 15 Mar 2017 12:29

Do or die?

Bit over dramatic you big bet wetter.

Our predictable style of play will be picked apart and we will lose. Probably by two.


» 15 Mar 2017 12:51

Saw a rare 2-0 away win back in '09 under Rodgers there.


» 16 Mar 2017 22:30

Wednesday fans over on Owlstalk reckon this is a make or break for both teams, a win should see them go on and finish in the playoffs, a loss could be the catalyst in a demoralising decline eventually dropping out.

From our point of view at least, I'm not convinced at all. Our away form is dire and we're not expected to come away with anything. Big game? Yes. But there is still plenty of football left and more than enough fixtures where we should be able to pick up points, especially at home,

Besides, what was the last game where we weren't expected to get anything? Newcastle and yes it was home but we saw how that turned out. I think we might surprise people.


» 16 Mar 2017 22:39

I've said for weeks this run of form could see us temporarily drop out of the play-offs but after this I think we'll get enough points to be in the play-offs without much concern.


» 17 Mar 2017 07:46

A defeat certainly not terminal for our play off chances (have a feeling wolves may get something at Fulham as well) - but what a boost a win would be. Even a draw would be an excellent result considering we only have one game left against the top 8 after this


» 17 Mar 2017 08:34

People want it to be make or break, but it isn't. A defeat would put us under much more pressure though.


» 17 Mar 2017 10:55

Anssi Jaakkola has picked up another injury meaning George Legg will likely make his first appearance in the squad as back-up, having been recalled from Hungerford this week. Quite a rise up the pecking order as Bond and Jaakkola are both injured, whilst Stuart Moore is of course now at Luton


» 17 Mar 2017 11:17

Jaap if you're reading this then please pick Luke Southwood.


» 17 Mar 2017 12:06

assumed this was on the box tonight but see they've opted for Bristol City v Huddersfield :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

 Maneki Neko

» 17 Mar 2017 15:10

Why in gods name are we playing on a friday without it being on TV? Madness


» 17 Mar 2017 15:13

Because United are playing at home on the Saturday and if both teams played on a Saturday the entire city would burn to the ground.

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