News and Views

Match Preview: Reading FC v Bristol City

26 November 2016
By Alex Bower

"We're happy with how we're playing at the moment, but we know we can still improve. Third place is nice, but it's good to put in a performance and to keep winning games."
- Reading FC Manager Jaap Stam

"Bristol aren't in great form but we know they will pose a threat so we know we've got to be switched on. We'll try to attack this one the way we have with the other games over the last few weeks, we want to come out confident and try to impose ourselves on the game really quickly."
- Reading FC Defender Tyler Blackett

"Jaap Stam has come in and has tried to educate supporters and players with regards to how he believes football should be played. They're very expansive and make a lot of passes. Sometimes that can be quite frustrating for English fans to watch, especially when a lot of those passes take place in your own half. However, it's clearly working for Reading so no one can argue when you're being successful."
- Bristol City Manager Lee Johnson

"I've had some bad times at the Madejski Stadium - I can't remember ever winning there. Reading's form is a worry for us, but that's something we need to overcome. In this league, it's always going to be a difficult game."
- Bristol City Defender Mark Little

Reading will be looking to hold onto third place in the Championship on Saturday as they face Bristol City. The Robins currently find themselves in tenth and will be keen on improving their current form by securing the win.

The Royals have now won four Championship games in a row, beating Burton Albion 3-0 last time out at the Madejski. Dominic Samuel scored his first league goal for the club when he converted at the back post. Danny Williams made it two with his finish from close range and a John Brayford own goal made it three.

While Reading are in a good spell of form, the same cannot be said about City. The Robins have won only one of their last five games and have not won away since September. In their last game away to Birmingham City a single goal settled the game. With only minutes to spare Che Adams netted for the Blues and they went on to win the game 1-0.

Recent match-ups between the sides suggest the odds are in Reading's favour going into the weekend. The Royals have won the last five games between the two sides and the last time Bristol won away from home against Reading was back in 2009. With home advantage on their side, Reading will be confident of continuing their winning run.

In terms of absences, the Royals will be without a number of their squad. Stephen Quinn remains out with a knee injury- as is Yann Kermorgant- and John Swift is also sidelined. Anssi Jaakkola has yet to return to full training so will not be in the squad. Joey van den Berg, meanwhile, has been recovering from his injury and there is a small chance he could play some part at the weekend.

Bristol have some injuries of their own to contend with as Joel Ekstrand is ruled out with an ankle injury. Winger Luke Freeman has returned to training after an ankle injury and could be in contention for a place in the squad to face the Royals.

Bristol have some talented players at their disposal, including the likes of Tammy Abraham, so should not be underestimated. Based on Reading's current form and previous performances by Bristol at the Madejski, however, the Royals will be the favourites to pick up their fifth league win in a row.


Discussion On This Story:


» 26 Nov 2016 10:30


It's Bristol City's turn to have a go at the mighty Reading today. Bristol are probably in their best form and consistency at this level for about 10 years, being comfortably in the upper half of the table and more than capable of springing surprises if their opponents don't turn up in the right frame of mind. They will also be determined to show they are not in a slump of form after 2 defeats in a row to Brighton and then at Birmingham last week.

Reading are on a roll of 4 consecutive league wins with no goals conceded but their last 4 games have all been against teams struggling and while team understanding and confidence is slowly growing there is always that air of dodginess floating about whenever other teams have the temerity to try and score against us. And with leading scorer Tammy Abraham running amok Bristol will certainly give plenty of cause for concern in that area.

The Reading injury list seems to grow with each game. Missing today will be; Yann Kermorgant (knee), John Swift (ankle), Stephen Quinn (knee), Anssi Jaakkola (knee), Deniss Rakels (ankle) and probably Joey van den Berg (knee).

Bristol City, unfortunately, would appear to have a more or less full squad to play with. Only defender Joel Ekstrand (knee) is a doubt and winger Luke Freeman has just returned from injury so may only be on the bench.

Expectation here is that Reading will be unchanged from last week's game v Burton which should mean a slightly more direct and pacey game going forward but a little less solid in midfield. So that's Habsi, Gunter, Obita, Moore L, Blackett, McShane, Evans, Beerens, McCleary, Williams and Samuel.

Bristol City fans are expected, as ever, to number about 3500 so there will be plenty of noise from that end of the ground however I'm sure they'll be drowned out by the masses of Reading followers singing their hearts out for the lads in a sterling effort to give our boys a lift and dispirit the City team.

(Un)Interesting facts

This season Bristol City have recovered the most points (12), of anyone, from games where they have been in losing positions this season.
In the first league meeting in Reading (September 1922), 43 games ago, Reading drew 0-0 with Bristol City. There has not been another 0-0 in this fixture since. Guess what today's score is therefore bound to be?


Scheduled to take up the whistle for today is Tim Robinson from West Sussex


Previously with Mr Robinson

01 Oct 2016 > Reading 1-1 Derby County
02 Feb 2016 > Ipswich Town 2-1 Reading
21 Sep 2013 > Derby County 1-3 Reading

Could be quite a cardy day as Mr Robinson is on an average of around 5 yellows a game so far this season compared with his average of approx 3.5 last season. His red card seems to appear around once every 5 games. WARNING : today is the 5th game since he last sent someone off.

Historically with Bristol City

This will be the 87th time the two teams have met in the league. Pretty even down the years with Reading just edging ahead on wins by 35 to 34 with 17 draws. Think it's a fairly standard case of win at home and lose away for both sides.



» 26 Nov 2016 15:01

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

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

Bristol City XI : Fielding, Little, Brian, Flint, O'Neil, Abraham, Tomlin, Reid, Paterson, Pack, Magnusson

Subs : Lucic, Moore, Smith, O'Dowda, Freeman, Engval, Wilbraham

 Ian Royal

» 26 Nov 2016 15:57

Well we've started on the front foot.

DomSam wins a pen...

oxf*rd hell we win a penalty every other game! :shock:

Missed - scored on rebound. Woop woop. Miss as many of them as you like if you tuck in the re-bound.


» 26 Nov 2016 16:06


GMac misses pen but gets rebound.


» 26 Nov 2016 16:12

Good News - Barcelona of the South Coast 1-0 down
Bad News - Fulham are flying


» 26 Nov 2016 16:12

2-0 Roy of the Royals

 Ian Royal

» 26 Nov 2016 16:12

Beerens smashes in a volley from a team goal.

That ought to be that given our form and style. WTAF is going on.


» 26 Nov 2016 16:16

Can't remember when I last enjoyed a relegation struggle this much.


» 26 Nov 2016 16:18

Top Cmonurz'ing. :|

BCFC certainly don't think so yet.


» 26 Nov 2016 16:22

Ali Al-Habsi :shock:


» 26 Nov 2016 16:26

Has Ian done a stinky?

 Emmer Green Royal

» 26 Nov 2016 16:29

[quote="genome"]Ali Al-Habsi :shock:[/quote]


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