News and Views
Match Preview: Reading FC v Burton Albion
19 November 2016
By Alex Bower
"Burton have a strong team. They have good players and as a side physically they are very strong. From the games that we've seen they give the opposition a hard time. The work rate that they've got upfront and in midfield as well as on the ball is impressive. Defensively they've got strong players so we know it's going to be a hard game."
- Reading Manager Jaap Stam
"We know we are going to face a very tough team who are coming fresh into this league. They need to perform and to show people that they haven't come here just to go straight back. They have got some results. They play in a different way to other teams and they like to attack and we have to be ready for that."
- Reading Goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi
"Teams haven't dominated possession against us, especially away from home this season, which is one of the things we feared. They might have the majority of the ball on Saturday and that may suit us for a change. But you have to see how the game pans out. You can't go into a game thinking you are going to defend as it might be you are domination."
- Burton Manager Nigel Clough
"We're just going there to win, to get that first away win of the season which is massive for us. If we get that (away win) it's a massive bonus and we will kick on for next week.”
- Burton Midfielder Tom Naylor
Reading will be looking to win their fourth Championship game in a row as they take on Burton Albion on Saturday. Following the international break, action finally returns to the Madejski Stadium with the arrival of the newly promoted side.
Despite it being their first season at this level, Burton are seemingly already adjusting quite well to life in the Championship. The Brewers are currently in eighteenth having beaten Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham.
The Royals, meanwhile, are also doing pretty well in the league. While it is still early in Jaap Stam's reign, Reading's recent run of results have pushed them as high as fourth in the table behind Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield.
Based on recent league form, Reading will be clear favourites to extend their winning run. The two clubs are currently at opposite ends of the table and the Royals have home advantage. The only time they have met previously was back in 2009 when the Royals recorded a 5-1 win in the League Cup.
If Reading are to get the result they are after, they will however have to do so without John Swift. The England U-21 picked up an injury while on international duty and his creative influence will be missed. The positive for Stam is that he has no other fitness concerns going into the game.
Nigel Clough, meanwhile, will have some injuries to contend with. Striker Jamie Ward will be absent after breaking his wrist during training. Defender Kyle McFadzean is also missing from the squad as he starts his four-match suspension.
In what will be the first league game between the two sides, it is difficult to see any other outcome than a Reading win. The Royals are on a good run and have the better quality squad. While the absence of Swift is not ideal, players such as Garath McCleary have been playing well recently and has the ability to break down what will be a stubborn Burton defence.
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