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Reading Look To Continue Home Form Against Blackburn
04 April 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?
With just seven games of the season remaining, Reading could realisically wrap up a play-off position finish if they can win all three of their remaining home fixtures. As it turns out the fixture computer has been kind to the Royals as they finish their home games with fixtures all against the bottom three. With Reading's impressive home form this season (only Brighton's is better), on paper these three home fixtures give Reading a perfect chance to pick up maximum points.
Reading start off with Blackburn Rovers tonight who are third from bottom of the Championship, before Rotherham (bottom) and Wigan Athletic (23rd) visit the Madejski Stadium. Rotherham, stranded at the foot of the table after eight straight defeats, are already relegated but Blackburn and Wigan will come to Reading desperate for points as they attempt to avoid the drop. It's often said that anyone can beat anyone else in the Championship and our visitor's need for points could be a big factor in producing some unexpected results. If Reading can keep their composure and grind out the results, then it is likely we can finish in the top six with minimum points away from the Madejski.
Tonight's visitors Blackburn's postition is misleading based on their recent form, after a weekend loss followed a run of 7 games without defeat. That impressive run, for a team anywhere in the table, was only ended by a single goal defeat on the road at Brighton - a team who are surely now set for automatic promotion to the Premier League. Blackburn find themselves just a single point away from moving out of the bottom three. A win for them at Reading would be a massive boost in their route to survival. Rovers have already picked up two 2-2 draws at Fulham and Norwich in March and Reading fans might fear they could repeat that or go one better tonight.
It should be difficult for Blackburn. Reading really are in fine form at home with 5 wins and 2 draws from the last 7. Our latest home win saw us move back to 4th with an impressive win over Leeds on Saturday, the Royals would move up to 3rd if they can dispatch Blackburn. Third placed Huddersfield face a tricky game against Norwich, who still have an outside chance of making the play-offs themselves, on Wednesday night. However, Reading supporters will be keeping a closer eye on the results of Fulham's trip to Derby and Sheffield Wednesday's trip to Rotherham tonight. If those teams drop points it will make it even easier for Reading to remain in the top six.
Joey van den Berg and centre-back Paul McShane both missed out against Leeds but may be considered this evening. Stam may be tempted to keep with his successful defensive line up from Saturday and give those two longer to recover. The win over Leeds, and a clean sheet, saw good performances all round helped out by Liam Kelly in the centre. Danny Williams limped off at the end on Saturday but is hoping to be fit enough to play tonight. It was Danny Williams that scored the only goal of the game the last time Blackburn came to town. Recent history had been very much in Blackburn's favour until that Reading win back in December 2015. Since then we went down 1-3 at Blackburn last season but won 3-2 at Ewood Park earlier this campaign with George Evans scoring a last minute winner to earn Reading the full three points.
Recent Meetings With BLACKBURN
|17 December 2016||Championship||Blackburn (Away)||W: 3-2||Read report...|
|07 May 2016||Championship||Blackburn (Away)||L: 1-3||Read report...|
|20 December 2015||Championship||Blackburn (HOME)||W: 1-0||Read report...|
|11 April 2015||Championship||Blackburn (HOME)||D: 0-0||Read report...|
|01 November 2014||Championship||Blackburn (Away)||L: 1-3||Read report...|
|22 February 2014||Championship||Blackburn (HOME)||L: 0-1||Read report...|
|23 November 2013||Championship||Blackburn (Away)||D: 0-0||Read report...|
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