News and Views

Reading Aim For Victory At Burton

05 May 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading head to Burton Albion on Sunday for the final game of the regular season - and our first competitive trip to the Pirelli Stadium. The final away game of the season promises to be a fun day out for Reading's travelling fans who will take their random inflatables with them to take in a new ground while celebrating Reading's success so far this season.

The Royals have a 100% record against Burton after a 5-1 League Cup win back in 2009 and this season's 3-0 League victory in November at the Madejski Stadium. If the Royals can maintain that run, and notch up another victory over the Brewers, they will finish 3rd in the final Championship table and will be going on to face Fulham in the Championship play-offs.

Burton will have nothing to play for after a successful season saw them survive in the Championship after last season's promotion. They were favourites for relegation at the start of the campaign and have done very well to stay clear of the drop zone and confirm their place in the Championship for next season with games spare. Burton have finished the season strongly with wins against Birmingham City and Leeds United, and a draw against Barnsley in their last three games. Burton did the Royals a big favour with their 2-1 win over Leeds, but as it turns out Reading's results were more than enough to secure a play-off spot with Leeds missing out.

There's been plenty of discussion on who Reading should face in the play-offs and whether home advantage in the first or second leg is best. That discussion has extended to suggesting that a defeat in this match wouldn't be a bad thing. That's total, complete nonsense. A win will set us up properly for the play-offs and see us finish third in the table. The higher finish the better, and having the home leg in the second game will be a huge bonus for the Royals. Jaap Stam has made it clear he will be aiming for a win and a strong finish on Sunday: "We're going to give it our best shot. We want to finish the final game well as we don't want to go into the play-offs with a disappointment."

A win is obviously what we want. Fulham may have finished the season strongly and will have good form on their side, but I'd prefer to face them over two legs in the semi final rather than a one-off game at Wembley Stadium. Reading are not expected to make it through the play-offs by bookmakers, the general public, and their own fans - which is definately a good thing. We've sneaked in under the radar all season, and let's hope it can continue until the end of May.

Jaap Stam remains likely to field a strong side, unlike Huddersfield who, having already secured their play-off spot, decided to rest most of their team for last weekend's 0-2 defeat at Birmingham. Huddersfield got in hot water over that but Reading will probably avoid such trouble. However, Stam may choose to shuffle his starting eleven around as he has done so many times this season. Stam will take the chance to rest key players, while Garath McCleary and Paul McShane will miss out as they recover from injuries. That may see some fringe players get a last run out and a chance to prove themselves ahead of the crucial play-off games.

Meetings With Burton Albion

19 November 2016 Championship Burton (HOME) W: 3-0 Read report...
11 August 2009 League Cup Burton (HOME) W: 5-1 Read report...


Discussion On This Story:


» 04 May 2017 09:02

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Last game of the season and like last year Reading are away from home in a game that is largely meaningless. However, unlike last year, Reading have actually achieved a play off place which no one would have expected after the complete and utter on field turgid cr@p and boardroom upheavals off the last few years.

Expectation is for both teams to “fiddle” about with expected line-ups as one prepares for the play offs and the other looks to build for next season. Paul McShane is fit and ready to play so I would anticipate him being on the bench while Joey van den Berg could play if he had to but is likely to again miss out. Garath McCleary will definitely play no part so Popa should start on the right – and preferably in a winger role not wing back.

Burton, like Reading, have also achieved but that probably isn’t so much of a surprise as Nigel Clough has returned and there just seems to be something about him, Burton and success. Given their small squad (most famous names being Marvin Sordell, Luke Varney, Lloyd Dyer and Michael Kightly) and being amongst everyone’s favourites to go down they have survived with a game to spare and can look forward to mixing it with some more famous names next season.

The Brewers are on a 3 game unbeaten streak which includes wins over Leeds and at Birmingham plus a good point at Barnsley, in addition this season they have beaten Sheff Wed and Derby at home plus had a great win at Huddersfield so can give anyone a game on their day.


Wiltshire’s Simon Hooper will be managing affairs



09 Aug 16 > Reading 2-0 Plymouth Argyle (League Cup)
05 Mar 16 > Reading 2-2 Fulham
26 Dec 15 > Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Reading
17 Feb 15 > Reading 0-1 Wigan Athletic
16 Aug 14 > Reading 1-0 Ipswich Town
23 Sep 14 > Derby County 2-0 Reading (League Cup)
14 Apr 14 > Reading 1-1 Leicester City
20 Mar 12 > Peterborough United 2-1 Reading
26 Dec 11 > Reading 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
01 Jan 11 > Swansea City 1-0 Reading
28 Dec 09 > Plymouth Argyle 4-1 Reading
18 Aug 09 > Swansea City 0-0 Reading


This is the first ever trip Reading have made to Burton for any sort of game as far as I know (though I now expect someone to pipe up and say that back in Southern League days Reading played Burton Swifts or one of the other Burton teams that have been in existence at various points down the years).

History wise there have only been two previous games, both at the Madejski and Reading have managed a 100% record by 8 goals to 1 over both games.


» 04 May 2017 09:11

One of what must be the few teams we have a 100% record against.

Granted we've only played them twice! I think that record has a good chance of ending as we have one eye on the play-offs and arguably, it would be no huge loss if we drop from 3rd position, if it had been Leeds who snuck in on 6th I would want Reading to be fighting tooth and nail for 3rd but they crashed out.

 glass half full

» 04 May 2017 09:42

I know that there are other games to come but I thought that I would register my thanks to Sutekh for his excellent introductions to each game.

0-0 draw but end-to-end stuff.


» 04 May 2017 10:00

not too fussed about the result, but would like to see McShane get a run out, and hopefully start with Popa, Mendes, Grabban, Evans and Ilori. I'm sure Jaap will rest a few of the key players such as Williams, Yann and possibly Moore/Blackett

 The Informant

» 04 May 2017 12:00

Lol at anyone that doesn't want to come third and have a 5.30 kickoff on the Saturday


» 04 May 2017 12:05

I'm with Informant on this one. Need to go for a win and clinch 3rd.

 Woodcote Royal

» 04 May 2017 12:19

And whatever he says in public, I'm sure Stam will be planning accordingly. Great news about McShane.


» 04 May 2017 16:02

Fulham away would be great if I can get tickets! How many loyalty points before sell out you reckon?


» 04 May 2017 21:47

Season ticket plus 2000 points I reckon.


» 04 May 2017 22:16

Return of the Rak?


» 07 May 2017 11:27

Habsi, Gunter, McShane, Ilori, Obita, Moore, Evans, Kelly, Beerens, Mendes,

Berg on the bench

Looks like a 5-3-2/3-5-2 to me


» 07 May 2017 11:42

Burton stewards nicking all inflatables as soon as they go over the edge of the terrace :roll:

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