News and Views

Match Preview: Reading FC v Aston Villa

18 October 2016
By Alex Bower

"Every game that we play we try to win, if we play a side like Villa on the Tuesday it's not going to be easy. They've spent a lot of money and invested a lot of money in players and trying to build a team that has a chance of promotion to the Premier League. It won't be easy for them either. They've got a new manager and they'll want a result. They want to make it difficult for us, but we want to win our home games and play our style of football even against a good team like Villa."
- Reading FC Manager Jaap Stam

"We have to be confident in what we do and keep going to make sure we are successful in games. When we play well we have to make sure we reward ourselves with three points. We want to keep going and we're ready for it."
- Reading Player Joey van den Berg

Reading will be looking to extend their unbeaten run at the Madejski Stadium to nine games in all competitions when they take on Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.

The Royals returned from the international break with a 1-1 draw against QPR at the weekend, securing eighth place in the Championship table in the process. Pawel Wszolek gave the Hoops the lead early in the first half but Danny Williams was on hand to level the score only a few minutes later.

Despite being relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, Aston Villa have had a poor start to life in the Championship. One manager down and currently sitting twentieth in the table, things are not looking good. A positive for new manager Steve Bruce is that he managed to pick up a point in his first game against Wolves. Jonathan Kodjia gave them the lead after a quarter of an hour from the penalty spot. The equaliser also came as a result of a penalty, however, with Helder Costa converting.

If it was not bad enough for Villa already this season, they will also be without two important players in their defence. Captain Tommy Elphick and Micah Richards both picked up calf injuries against Wolves and subsequently they have no chance of featuring on Tuesday evening according to Bruce. Jack Grealish may also be absent from the game if the FA hand him a three game suspension for a stamp on a Wolves player. With results not going their way and confidence low, injuries and potential suspensions were the last thing they needed.

Reading, meanwhile, will be on a real high following their recent run in the Championship. The team is beginning to show a mental strength that has been absent in recent years and have an identity and style that many have picked up on in the media. They will, however, be without captain Paul McShane once more as he remains out with a hamstring injury. He is joined on the sidelines by Jake Cooper and Yakou Meite.

Villa have not won away from home for over a year but it is bound to happen sooner or later. The past fixtures between the teams suggest that perhaps it could be against Reading. Nineteen games have been played between Reading and Villa, with the Royals winning only two, drawing two and Villa winning the other fifteen. The last time the two sides met was in the 2012/13 season in the Premier League with Villa winning 1-0 at home and 2-1 away.

Even when bearing that in mind, the odds have to be in Reading's favour. The team's form at the Madejski has been impressive so far and the confidence in the Villa squad at the moment will surely make the home team the favourites. Once again the away side will probably sit deep and look to counter with the pace they have in their side. The issue will be whether the Royals can break through and whether Reading's strikers can start contributing goals.

Playing against Villa this early in Bruce's tenure, however, will be a positive for the Royals as the new manager himself has admitted that there is much work to be done. With over four thousand Villa fans coming down for the game, however, they could cause an upset.


Discussion On This Story:


» 18 Oct 2016 12:41


Paul McShane will miss the game with a hamstring injury

Jake Cooper and Yakou Meite will remain "sidelined" given their very recent return to training

New Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is set to be without defenders Micah Richards and Tommy Elphick who have calf injuries.

Jordan Ayew and Leandro Bacuna will come back into contention after being rested for Saturday's draw against Wolves and Steve will debate whether to start Rudy Gestade up front.

Historically Reading's record against Villa is almost as atrocious as their record against Arsenal having lost every league game they've ever played against them except one (1 win 9 defeats), therefore it's no surprise when you hear Reading are on a run of 5 successive defeats against them. The last two league games against them have been particularly awful to take as on both occasions both teams have been utterly dreadful with only Reading's ineptitude proving to be the slightly more complete.

Full record at home in the league is 1 win and 4 defeats for 7 against 11

Rocking up to referee this next instalment is Northamptonshire's Andy Woolmer


Previous games with Mr Woolmer

23 Aug 2014 > Nottingham Forest 4-0 Reading
08 Apr 2014 > Bournemouth 3-1 Reading
29 Nov 2011 > Reading 3-2 Peterborough United
29 Oct 2011 > Crystal Palace 0-0 Reading
05 Apr 2010 > Reading 3-0 Coventry City
16 Sep 2008 > Reading 6-0 Sheffield Wednesday
17 Sep 2005 > Reading 1-0 Crewe Alexandra

Other facts.

While on a run of 1 defeat in 11, Reading have failed to win any of their last 3
Villa have only failed to score in one of their past 17 games against Reading in all competitions (0-2 in February 2007)
Reading are one of four Championship teams yet to lose any of their six home games in the league (the other are Norwich, Brentford and, perhaps surprisingly, Aston Villa)
Villa are winless in their past 10 league games, the longest current run in the division (but 8 of those games have been draws)
Reading are the only Championship side with an average possession rate above 60% (62.6%). As we all know though, that is utterly pointless if you're rarely troubling opposition defenders.


» 18 Oct 2016 13:12

looking forward to this one



» 18 Oct 2016 19:37


» 18 Oct 2016 19:39

That Terry Bell OG was a push and sent us down thanks for bringing back the sadness Sutekh!!

 Big Ern

» 18 Oct 2016 19:43

Are we winning yet?

 Royal With Cheese

» 18 Oct 2016 20:20


 Big Ern

» 18 Oct 2016 20:27


Thanks . Are we winning now ?

 Royal With Cheese

» 18 Oct 2016 20:29


Thanks . Are we winning now ?

I can do this all night if need-be.


» 18 Oct 2016 20:29

Any streams?

 Melton Royal

» 18 Oct 2016 20:30

Yes.......................................................and no


» 18 Oct 2016 20:48

Oh dear


» 18 Oct 2016 20:49

fcuk off Villa

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