News and Views

Reading Face Tough Trip To Barnsley

16 September 2016
By Alex Bower

"Barnsley are doing very well. They won their game on Tuesday night and looked impressive. They've had a couple of very good results so far this season but that's what we're looking to do as well."
- Reading Manager Jaap Stam

"Jaap has brought a real distinctive way of playing, really patient, trying to dominate the ball so we know we've got to be disciplined and patient in how we approach it. Again, we're just trying to win the game. They're going to pose different challenges and there will be challenges, definitely. It's going to another tough test."
- Barnsley Manager Paul Heckingbottom

Next up for the Royals is a tougher prospect than they would have imagined at the start of the season. Newly promoted side Barnsley currently find themselves third in the Championship having won five of their seven games. As a result, the Tykes will be a difficult test for Reading at Oakwell on Saturday.

Tuesday's game at the Madejski will not live long in the memory as Reading were held to a 0-0 draw against Birmingham. Despite dominating possession, the home side struggled to break through a resolute Blues defence and create any real chances. The injury suffered to Joey van den Berg in the warmup was a blow to the Royals and his continued absence is not ideal.

Barnsley, however, had a game to remember last time out as they recorded a 4-0 away win against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite not making the breakthrough until the 73rd minute, their goals were spread around the squad with Conor Hourihane, Adam Hammill, Saidy Janko and Tom Bradshaw all getting on the scoresheet.

This weekend, the two teams seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to scoring goals. Despite both conceding nine goals so far this season, Barnsley are the league's top goalscorers on eighteen. Reading, meanwhile, find themselves near the bottom of the league when it comes to goals having scored only seven.

With Jaap Stam's tactics and Reading's recent ability to keep seventy percent possession, it will be interesting to see if Barnsley are able to create as many chances on Saturday. Everyone knows the issues surrounding the Reading strikeforce and subsequently it will also be interesting to see if they can start converting chances frequently.

Both sides will be missing players for Saturday's game. Josh Scowen and Adam Armstrong face fitness tests but James Bree and Ryan Williams remain out for Barnsley. Reading meanwhile will have to cope without van den Berg after injuring his hamstring as well as Yakou Meite and Deniss Rakels who are both out with ankle injuries. John Swift may start but his substitute appearance against Birmingham suggests that he is not quite up to fitness.

In terms of previous matchups, the statistics are in Reading's favour. Barnsley are winless in their last five home league meetings with Reading, having lost four and drawing one. Reading have also only lost one of their last eight league trips to Oakwell, losing 3-0 in August 1996. This season, however, Barnsley are currently one of three Championship sides with a 100% record at home.

Being at home, Barnsley will probably be the favourites but Reading will be a tough team to take on. The Royals remain unbeaten in five games in all competitions, winning three of them. Barnsley are also on a good run, being unbeaten in three and having scored ten goals in the process. It will be a hard fought game, but is the kind of fixture that the Royals need to be winning regardless of their opponent's form and league positioning.

Reading and Barnsley - Head to head record (since August 1994)
Games Between Reading and Barnsley 19
Reading Wins 8
Barnsley Wins 7
Draws 4
Reading Goals 22
Barnsley Goals 21
Average Goals Per Game 2.26

 

Discussion On This Story:

 CountryRoyal

» 15 Sep 2016 12:40

Al Habsi

Gunter
McShane
Moore
Blackett

Quinn
VDB
Swift

McCleary
Kermorgant
Beerens

 George_

» 15 Sep 2016 12:47

Jaakkola

Gunter----McShane----Moore----Obita

-------Evans-------

Swift--------Quinn

McCleary----Yann----Beerens

 Ian Royal

» 15 Sep 2016 17:02


That'd be my first XI, but I expect to see Williams over Swift now and it'd be harsh to drop Obita again after one game.

 CountryRoyal

» 15 Sep 2016 17:24


That'd be my first XI, but I expect to see Williams over Swift now and it'd be harsh to drop Obita again after one game.

Harsh, maybe, but against the league's highest goal scorers I just think we need that extra bit of defensive solidity that he brings over Obita (yes yes I know we kept a clean sheet last time out and conceded with Blackett)

I also don't want to see Williams anywhere near the starting 11 ever again. Fully fed up with his "contributions". I think we'd be a much better team without him in it. Perfect player to bring on against a tiring defence and really grab the game by the scruff of its neck, just don't see what he brings when he starts.

 Nameless

» 15 Sep 2016 22:22

I think we'll see Blackett selected where we need defensive strength and height at set pieces and Obita when we want the full backs pushing forward. So Blackett this time.
Swift should start, possibly with JVDB and Evans behind him.

 Einstein agogo

» 16 Sep 2016 07:31


That'd be my first XI, but I expect to see Williams over Swift now and it'd be harsh to drop Obita again after one game.

Harsh, maybe, but against the league's highest goal scorers I just think we need that extra bit of defensive solidity that he brings over Obita (yes yes I know we kept a clean sheet last time out and conceded with Blackett)

I also don't want to see Williams anywhere near the starting 11 ever again. Fully fed up with his "contributions". I think we'd be a much better team without him in it. Perfect player to bring on against a tiring defence and really grab the game by the scruff of its neck, just don't see what he brings when he starts.

This will be the team that starts, Swift is fit for 65-70 mins

 Sutekh

» 16 Sep 2016 07:51

Berg will not be risked according to the Chronic. Still suffering with a hamstring issue.

Actually expecting a team of

Habsi

Gunter
McShane
Moore
Obita

Evans
Swift
Williams

McCleary
Beerens
Cormorant

 Nameless

» 16 Sep 2016 09:05



Although we played a formation specifically designed to counter Birmingham. Will we go with three centre backs again ?
If we do then Clearly Obita plays rather than Blackett.
But I would definitely want Swift playing.

 russyb

» 16 Sep 2016 09:27

Is Dominic Samuals injured? just wondering why he isn't even on the Bench.
I like him over Mendes, i don't think Mendes has impressed

 Sutekh

» 16 Sep 2016 09:33



Samuel has been less than impressive in the few games he has played for the U23s and in the CheckOutaLowCrowd Trophy so it is unsurprising that he is not even making the bench.

 Vision

» 16 Sep 2016 09:37

I did find it slightly odd that when Joey pulled out late on Tuesday that Blackett wasn't the natural choice as the left sided central defender in a back 3. I can only assume Stam intended top rest him anyway or decided that distribution wise Evans was a more like for like replacement.

 Nameless

» 16 Sep 2016 09:40



But Evans was the best option as the central one, which is where Joey would have played and where Evans did play. We weren't short of a left sided player and Evans is a much better footballer than Blackett. With Evans there it would also have been easy to swap formations by pushing him forward into a more conventional midfield position.


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