News and Views
Play Off Teams And Dates Confirmed
02 May 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Saturday's 1-0 home victory against Wigan Athletic was one of the least exciting home performances of the season so far - but Yann Kermorgant's eighth goal in eight games was enough to confirm Reading's top six finish and a place in the play-offs. The result also meant that Wigan completed their relegation to League One. Of more interest to Reading fans, the day's results ensured that Leeds United will miss out on a top six place and the four play-off contenders are now confirmed. The play-offs will involve Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield and Fulham battling to earn promotion to the Premier League.
Reading's win means they are third in the table with one game left to play, a point ahead of both Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield. Fulham find themselves four points behind Huddersfield - meaning they are now guaranteed a sixth placed finish regardless of the outcome in their last game. If Reading can win at Burton Albion in their final game of the season on Sunday, they will be guaranteed a third placed finish and will therefore play Fulham over two legs. Despite the table suggesting Fulham are the weakest team in the play-offs, many think differently and are hoping to avoid them in the semi-finals. Given our history in the play-offs I'd prefer to get the toughest game out of the way first to reduce the risk of more play-off final disappointment at Wembley.
A win at Burton would be great for the confidence, and end the season on a high in third before travelling to Fulham, in an attempt to do far better than our last showing there when we lost 0-5. If we can get maximum points on Sunday we would travel to Fulham for a 5:30pm kick-off on Saturday 13 May. The home leg would then take place at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday 16 May at 7:45pm.
If Reading fail to win at Burton then our final position would depend on how Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield finish their regular season on Sunday. Any one of the three teams could finish 3rd, 4th or 5th. The best outcome is to finish 3rd or 4th as that would mean playing the first leg away before brining the opposition home knowing exactly what needs to be done to make it to Wembley. Should Reading slip to 4th or 5th then they would play on Sunday 14 May at 12pm and Wednesday 29 May with a 7:45pm kick-off. Although it's very optimistic at this stage, it's still worth getting Monday 29 May 2017 in your diary - as that's the date of the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium.
|Championship Table at: 02 May 2017|
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