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. 


Discussion On This Story:


» 18 Nov 2016 13:06


So next up for Reading is the first ever league meeting with Burton Albion in the whole history of the world ever ever ever ever. There was the case of a league cup game against them, which Reading won 5-1, about 2 weeks after Burton kicked off their football league career, 7 years ago, but any comparison or expectation based on that can go straight out the window.

Burton have started solidly in the division and are actually quite difficult to beat as their near neighbours Derby County will attest. Managed by Nigel Clough - who actually seems to have an affinity for managing them having been the prime mover to get them set for league status all those years ago - they will be well prepared.

Apparently they play a fairly open game and create a good few chances, however their main issue is that they suffer a bit with "Reading complex" and struggle to take those chances. They are well organised defensively which is just what we all want to hear isn't it?

Their biggest threat is Australian international striker Jackson Irvine, however he only recently arrived back from international duty in Thailand so hopefully won't be quite as fresh as the rest of their ream.

Injury wise Reading are without John Swift, Deniss Rakels, Ansi Jaakkola and Stephen Quinn but everyone else should be available. If the decision was mine I'd put Liam Kelly into John Swift's position and leave the remaining starting XI the same that began v Wigan. Another interesting idea would be to move Williams into that role and try playing with 2 strikers (Samuel and Kermorgant). I suspect though that Jaap will simply move Evans into the side (and also restore Roy Beerens in place of Callum Harriott).

Burton will have Forest loanee Jamie Ward missing through injury and defender Kyle McFadzean missing through suspension as he starts a 4 game ban.

Interesting facts.

Garath McCleary's 57 second opener against Wigan is the fasted goal recorded in the Championship so far this season.
Reading have been awarded more penalties (8) this season than any other team in the league (scored 5 and missed 3 (although one of those was converted from the rebound)).

Hampshire's Keith Stroud has been assigned for refereeing duties


Previously with Mr Stroud

28 Dec 2015 > Reading 1-2 Brentford
07 Nov 2015 > Cardiff City 2-0 Reading
03 Oct 2015 > Reading 2-0 Middlesbrough
14 Apr 2015 > Reading 0-1 Bournemouth
29 Mar 2014 > Reading 1-1 Huddersfield Town
11 Jan 2014 > Watford 0-1 Reading
13 Aug 2011 > Leicester City 0-2 Reading
03 Apr 2010 > Ipswich Town 2-1 Reading
06 Feb 2010 > Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Reading
29 Dec 2007 > Tottenham Hotspurt 6-4 Reading
22 Sep 2007 > Reading 2-1 Wigan Athletic
25 Feb 2006 > Reading 2-1 Preston North End
23 Aug 2005 > Reading 3-1 Swansea City (League Cup)

Finally, one other player of Burton's may catch the eye and that is their no. 9 who goes under the name of Stuart Beavon. Finally, after getting a break into league football with Wycombe Wanderers in 2009, his path crosses that of the club his dad, also called Stuart, played 481 games for back in the 1980s.

Help the match build up by inserting nostalgic memories of Stuart below.


 The Cube

» 18 Nov 2016 20:27

Number 7 Stuart Beavon
Number 8 Mick Tait

You just don't get rhyming teamsheets like that any more. Actually, I think it only happened once, and the spoilsport manager had Martin Hicks at number 5.


» 18 Nov 2016 21:04

Can remember Stuart Beavon snr. leading a kiddy tantrummed Stuart Beavon jnr. to the car at Sava Centre back in the late 80's early 90's

Jnr has been instrumental in the rise and rise of Burton in recent years.....not bad for a lad who played for Didcot Town

Martin Hicks never wore the number six shirt......or did he? 8)

 The Cube

» 18 Nov 2016 22:06

"It's a man's game"
"And Beavon"

A desperately unfair interchange, but we all laughed every time.

 Josef Fritzl

» 19 Nov 2016 14:59

Is Kermogant injured?


» 19 Nov 2016 15:05

Reading XI : Habsi, Gunter, Moore L, Obita, Blackett, Evans, McShane, Williams, Beerens, McCleary, Samuel

Subs : Moore S, Mendes, Harriott, Meite, Gravenberch, Watson, Kelly

Burton XI : McLaughlin, Brayford, Mousinho, Turner, Williamson, O'Grady, Beavon, Akins, Dyer, Palmer, Irvine

Presuming Kermorgant is injured, no-one knows the reason for his absence in the media. Ady Williams suggested he's out due to old age :lol:

No clue on formation really but would guess we're going 5-4-1


» 19 Nov 2016 15:19

Joey injured as well?

3-4-3 is a possibility but I think Stam will stick with 4-3-3, with Obita in central midfield. He's got a good understanding with Samuel so it would make sense to stick him in the Swift role.


» 19 Nov 2016 16:19

Woo hoo! Samuel! GTFI... 8)


» 19 Nov 2016 16:23

lovely stuff


» 19 Nov 2016 16:25

2-0! Williams! GTFI... 8) 8)


» 19 Nov 2016 16:26



» 19 Nov 2016 16:43

HT 2-0

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