News and Views
Misery Or Joy Waits For Royals At Wembley
25 May 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?
The whole season comes down to one massive game on Monday, when the Royals head to Wembley Stadium for a 3pm kick-off to face Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final. It'll be misery for one half of the stadium and huge joy for the other half. The winning side will head off to the Premier League next season, and earn multiple millions of pounds in the process, while the losers will face another season in the Championship. A defeat will be very hard to take after getting within touching distance of the big time. The play-offs are exciting and cruel in equal measures. But surely after five defeats in the play-offs, three of which came in play-off finals, Reading are due that elusive joy at Wembley this time?
One thing is for certain, whoever comes out top between Reading and Huddersfield Town, they will become a surprise addition to the Premier League. Both sides started the season unfancied after failing to impress last season. Both teams rose high in the table but were still written off. After securing play-off positions they found themselves as outsiders with no-one paying much attention to either side until they upset the bookies and made their way into the play-off final. Reading secured a place in the final, thanks to a Kermorgant penalty, with a dramatic 1-0 home win over Fulham in the second leg. Huddersfield needed a penalty shoot out to edge past Sheffield Wednesday.
The winner of this fixture will be immediately installed as favourites for the drop next season - but will get such a big boost in income next season that it will all be worthwhile. It is a massive opportunity which both sides will be desperate to take. It couldn't be any more 50/50, with neither side a clear favourite. It was Reading that finished higher in the table - two places above Huddersfield - and it was also Reading that knocked out overall favourites Fulham. So, it still seems strange that Huddersfield are slight favourites with the bookies as you can currently see on CrownBet's EFL odds.
Both teams have been allocated approaching 40,000 tickets each for Monday's final after going back to the FA to request more tickets. Huddersfield are set to entirely sell out their allocation despite the inflated ticket prices. The Royals appear to still have tickets on sale having failed to shift all their availability so far. After tickets initially went on sale to season ticket holders and members with points only, they have now been released on general sale where anyone can now snap up a pair of tickets. As was said before day one of ticket sales - anyone that wants tickets will be able to get them without difficulties. Reading fans have until tomorrow (Friday) at 3pm to buy through SEE tickets, and the game could yet be a sell out.
It feels like it has been a long time since Reading fans spilled onto the Madjski Stadium pitch to celebrate victory over Fulham. Reading fans will be hoping it has been long enough for Jordan Obita to make a recovery from the injury he picked up in the first leg. The Royals owe at lot to Obita whose amazing performance in the first leg, including the vital goal in the 1-1 draw, set-up Reading nicely for the second leg. There has been some good news with Obita re-starting training today and Jaap Stam confirming that he may be fit for Monday. So Obita remains a maybe. Meanwhile McShane is a definately not as he remains suspended following his straight red card for a high tackle in the match at Craven Cottage. All the players that earned our place at Wembley last Tuesday will be available for selection - and Gareth McCleary will be back to full strength after returning from injury with an appearance off the substitutes bench during that game.
Reading's Previous Play-Off Final Appearances
|30 May 2011||Championship Play-Off Final||Swansea City (Wembley)||L: 2-4||Read report...|
|27 May 2001||Division Two Play-Off Final||Walsall (Millenium Stadium)||L: 2-3||Read report...|
|29 May 1995||Division One Play-Off Final||Bolton Wanderers (Wembley)||L: 3-4||Read report...|
Recent Meetings With Huddersfield Town
|21 February 2017||Championship||Huddersfield (Away)||L: 0-1||Read report...|
|24 September 2016||Championship||Huddersfield (HOME)||W: 1-0||Read report...|
|08 March 2016||Championship||Huddersfield (Away)||L: 1-3||Read report...|
|19 January 2016||FA Cup||Huddersfield (HOME)||W: 5-2||Read report...|
|09 January 2016||FA Cup||Huddersfield (Away)||D: 2-2||Read report...|
|03 November 2015||Championship||Huddersfield (HOME)||D: 2-2||Read report...|
|24 February 2015||Championship||Huddersfield (Away)||L: 0-3||Read report...|
|03 January 2015||FA Cup||Huddersfield (Away)||W: 1-0||Read report...|
|19 August 2014||Championship||Huddersfield (HOME)||L: 1-2||Read report...|
|29 March 2014||Championship||Huddersfield (HOME)||D: 1-1||Read report...|
|14 December 2013||Championship||Huddersfield (Away)||W: 1-0||Read report...|
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