News and Views

Reading Chase Elusive Win As Blackburn Visit

10 April 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

After picking up two points from the two Easter fixtures, Reading find themselves back up to 18th in the table and still well clear of the drop despite shocking league form. Reading looked to have picked up a win against Cardiff in their last home fixture, thanks to a Pogrebnyak goal, only to see the visitors score in the last minute to steal a draw. That was followed up by more frustration as the Royals needed an own goal to share the points with Blackpool on Tuesday who are already relegated to League One.

Those two points are Reading's only points from the last four Championship matches, and the Royals have picked up just a single win from their last eight league matches. The Royals may be struggling, but survivial looks almost certain with the Royals remaining 10 points clear of the drop zone with just 6 games remaining. If Reading can somehow find a win against Blackburn this Saturday then their Championship status will nearly be secured well ahead of the end of the season.

It will be interested to see what the starting eleven will be this time as Reading manager Steve Clarke continues to muck around with his squad. The line-up seems to change every week, sometimes with wild differences, with the first choice team only seeming to emerge for FA Cup fixtures. Whatever Clarke says in his pre and post match interviews the focus is on the meeting with Arsenal at Wembley in eight days time. Clarke will be doing his best to give Arsenal a game with a place in the FA Cup Final up for grabs. On current form, with Arsenal unstoppable and Reading... very stoppable... surely it will be a damage limitation exercise at Wembley on the 18th April.

Clarke has bought in a number of loan signings recently. Both Ake and Appiah started on Tuesday night. Appiah managed just the first 45 mintues before being swapped out for Mackie. Knight and Norwood played the full ninety minutes while Yakubu started and Simon Cox was given just 12 minutes at the end. That was all changed from just three days earlier when Reading lined up at home against Cardiff with Knight, Norwood, Appiah and Yakubu all on the bench. Cox has fallen right out of favour with Clarke and will be hoping for another chance against Blackburn - but the starting eleven could be any from a pick of maybe 18 players.

Michael Hector missed out mid-week after picking up a knee injury but could be set to return to face Blackburn. Clarke may choose to play it safe and play Knight in the centre of defence. Danny Williams also has a knee problem and Chelsea loanee Nathaniel Chalobah still remains out of action but could be set to make a return.

The Reading team will be wearing a one-off shirt designed by 14 year old school boy Ryan Duval. Ryan will be on duty as mascot for the afternoon and will be leading the team out against Blackburn. To try and fill the ground for the occassion advance ticket prices have also been reduced to just 10 pounds per adult and 5 pounds for concessions. After the match the match worn shirts will be auctioned on e-bay with proceeds going to Reading's The Avenue School where Ryan is a pupil. Pupil's from Ryan's school are also all invited to the game free of charge as the club look to enhance their community image and help raise money for the school.

So, terrible league form, an unsettled, almost random feeling side, and playing a team that are 8 places and 11 points better off than ourselves. A look at recent history does little to provide optimism. Our last 7 meetings over the last 20 years have seen 3 draws and 4 Blackburn wins. Reading have scored just one goal against Blackburn in the last three games they have visited Reading. Reading wins are rare all round.

Betting Odds

  • Reading win: 7/5 (favourites)
  • Blackburn win: 9/5
  • Draw: 23/10

Reading and Blackburn - Head to head record (since August 1994)
Games Between Reading and Blackburn 7
Reading Wins 0
Blackburn Wins 4
Draws 3
Reading Goals 7
Blackburn Goals 13
Average Goals Per Game 2.86

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