News and Views
Reading Hope For Cup Run As Walsall Visit
29 January 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Reading are back in FA Cup action this weekend as they look to put together another cup run after last season's visit to Wembley in the Semi-Final. In Reading's way of a place in round five are League One Walsall who put out Championship Brentford in the last round with a 1-0 away victory. Reading needed a replay to eventually overcome ten man Huddersfield at home, coming from 0-2 down to win 5-2. Reading are mid-table, and out of form, and the visitors are flying high in League One - they are in third place and just a point outside the automatic promotion places. Both teams will fancy their chances, and an away win would hardly register as a shock. However this a great opportunity to make it count and progress in the competition.
Reading and Walsall fixtures are traditionally dull. The last five meetings of the two sides have returned just five goals. That average of a single goal in each match is probably a fair reflection of the entertainment served up in those matches. Out of those five games there have been four draws, which has included two games without a goal, and one single goal victory for Walsall. Two of those draws were in the FA Cup third round, and one was really a defeat after Walsall dumped the Royals out of the cup after a penalty shoot out at the Madejski.
The last time the two sides met was over 12 years ago in Division One - a 1-1 away draw. The home game that season was the 0-1 reverse, where the majority of the 11,225 fans had to be woken up at full time to leave the Madejski Stadium. Both sets of fans will be hoping for a fixture that goes against the trend tomorrow afternoon, as Reading hope to build a cup run to distract from what has been a disappointing league campaign. There may have been high hopes at the start of the season but now Reading fans are resigned to mid-table, with the FA Cup the only chance of generating any excitement this term.
Brian McDermott should have options in defence with both Paul McShane and Michael Hector expected to be available for selection. George Evans, who started for the Royals last weekend, has already appeared for Walsall in the FA Cup this season and will be unavilable for selection. McDermott is expected to field a strong first choice side in an attempt to win at the first attempt.
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