Hob Nob Anyone? News and Views Latest updates on Hob Nob Anyone? - The Reading Football Club Fans' Website http://www.royals.org/news.php Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:18:45 BST Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:18:45 BST 1800 Royals On Verge Of Play-Off Finish Despite Defeat Despite Saturday's 2-3 defeat at Nottingham Forest, Reading need just a single point from their final two matches in order to guarantee a play-off position finish. However, even two defeats for Reading is likely to see the Royals finish inside the top six for a shot at promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs. <br/><br/> With Leeds United in seventh place sitting six points behind Reading, the Royals could get away with two defeats if Leeds fail to pick up maximum points in their final two games, or if Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday slip up. Reading are helped by Sheffield Wednesday facing Fulham at home on the final day of the season meaning at least one team will be dropping points before the season wraps up. With Leeds in poor form after four defeats in their last six games, Reading fans could well be celebrating early whatever happens this weekend. <br/><br/> Brighton and Newcastle United have already taken the two automatic promotion places with Brighton on the verge of being crowned as Champions. Meanwhile Huddersfield secured a top six finish with a 1-0 away win at Wolves on Tuesday night. That result leaves the final three play-off positions up for grabs with four teams attempting to claim a place. Reading have a big advantage as they sit in fourth place, points ahead of everyone else. Reading's terrible goal difference means that the safest route is to pick up a point or three this weekend as Wigan visit the Madejski Stadium. If Reading can do that then all other results become irrelevant and Reading can look forward to extending their season with a game spare. <br/><br/> With the play-offs now within easy reach, attention turns to who Reading might face in the play-off semi-finals to judge our chances of another trip to Wembley. As with previous seasons, the Championship's third placed team will face sixth and the fourth placed team will play fifth. It may appear to be a big advantage to finish third, fourth or fifth to get a potentially winnable game over the two legs. Two wins for Reading in the regular season would secure either third or fourth place and would see us almost certainly avoid Huddersfield Town for starters. However, perhaps Huddersfield Town wouldn't be a bad team to face after our games this season and Huddersfield's minor dip in form towards the end of the season. Perhaps it's Fulham we need to avoid who could well finish sixth? <br/><br/> Reading have won at home and lost away at all sides that can finish in the top six - with the exception of Sheffield Wednesday who we managed to pick up the maximum six points from. Against Huddersfield we won 1-0 at home and lost 0-1 away, giving an "aggregate" score of 1-1. Our big 0-5 defeat away at Fulham means they had a better goal difference over the two games with Reading this term. We beat Leeds United 1-0 at home but were defeated 0-2 at their place, again giving Leeds the edge. <br/><br/> At this stage, with all the teams so equally matched and with no stand out contenders, it really does feel that Reading have a one in four chance of winning the play-offs at this stage. If you take a look at <a href="http://www.bet-on-football.co.uk/football-league/promotion-and-relegation-races-head-to-the-wire-in-efl-championship/" target="_blank">how bookmakers rate the likelihood of a Royals promotion</a> you'll find some close odds as you might expect. At the start of March Huddersfield looked like they might catch up the top two before dropping off the pace, and they would have been firm favourites for promotion alongside Brighton and Newcastle. That's no longer the case, and the form table might hold more answers. It could be Sheffield Wednesday that we need to keep a close eye on now after a run of five straight league wins that included victory over Newcastle United. Fulham are also on a good run after four Championship wins in a row. <br/><br/> To give us the best chance of promotion we need to get some momentum going again - starting with a victory over Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon. Not only would it secure our play-off finish but it could take us back to third and give the side a huge confidence boost ahead of play-off games with such massive financial significance. </p> <p><strong>Remaining Games for the Play-off Contenders</strong></p> <p><Strong>Reading (4th, 79 points):</strong></p> <ul> <li>29 April: Wigan Athletic (H)</li> <li>7 May: Burton Albion (A)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Sheffield Wednesday (5th, 78 points):</strong></p> <ul> <li>29 April: Ipswich Town (A)</li> <li>7 May: Fulham (H)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Fulham (6th, 76 points):</strong></p> <ul> <li>29 April: Brentford (H)</li> <li>7 May: Sheffield Wednesday (A)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Leeds United (7th, 73 points):</strong></p> <ul> <li>29 April: Norwich City (H)</li> <li>7 May: Wigan Athletic (A)</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table cellpadding=3 cellspacing=1 width=95%><tr><td colspan=15 class=table_a>Championship Table at: 26 April 2017</td></tr><tr><td class=table_b>&nbsp;</td><td class=table_b>&nbsp;</td><td class=table_b>Pl</td><td class=table_b>HW</td><td class=table_b>HD</td><td class=table_b>HL</td><td class=table_b>HF</td><td class=table_b>HA</td><td class=table_b>AW</td><td class=table_b>AD</td><td class=table_b>AL</td><td class=table_b>AF</td><td class=table_b>AA</td><td class=table_b>GD</td><td class=table_b>POINTS</td></tr><tr><td class=table_1 >1</td><td class=table_1 ><a class=table_1 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Brighton ">Brighton </a></td><td class=table_1 >44</td><td class=table_1 >17</td><td class=table_1 >3</td><td class=table_1 >2</td><td class=table_1 >46</td><td class=table_1 >13</td><td class=table_1 >11</td><td class=table_1 >5</td><td class=table_1 >6</td><td class=table_1 >27</td><td class=table_1 >25</td><td class=table_1 >+35</td><td class=table_1 >92 (P)</td></tr> <tr><td class=table_1 >2</td><td class=table_1 ><a class=table_1 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Newcastle ">Newcastle </a></td><td class=table_1 >44</td><td class=table_1 >14</td><td class=table_1 >3</td><td class=table_1 >5</td><td class=table_1 >46</td><td class=table_1 >23</td><td class=table_1 >13</td><td class=table_1 >4</td><td class=table_1 >5</td><td class=table_1 >34</td><td class=table_1 >17</td><td class=table_1 >+40</td><td class=table_1 >88 (P)</td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >3</td><td class=table_2 ><a class=table_2 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Huddersfield ">Huddersfield </a></td><td class=table_2 >44</td><td class=table_2 >15</td><td class=table_2 >2</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >34</td><td class=table_2 >23</td><td class=table_2 >10</td><td class=table_2 >4</td><td class=table_2 >8</td><td class=table_2 >22</td><td class=table_2 >30</td><td class=table_2 >+3</td><td class=table_2 >81 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >4</td><td class=table_2 style='color:#FF0000;' ><a class=table_2 style='color:#FF0000;' href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=READING">READING</a></td><td class=table_2 >44</td><td class=table_2 >15</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >2</td><td class=table_2 >34</td><td class=table_2 >16</td><td class=table_2 >9</td><td class=table_2 >2</td><td class=table_2 >11</td><td class=table_2 >29</td><td class=table_2 >46</td><td class=table_2 >+1</td><td class=table_2 >79 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 ><a class=table_2 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Sheff Wed ">Sheff Wed </a></td><td class=table_2 >44</td><td class=table_2 >15</td><td class=table_2 >2</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >35</td><td class=table_2 >20</td><td class=table_2 >8</td><td class=table_2 >7</td><td class=table_2 >7</td><td class=table_2 >23</td><td class=table_2 >23</td><td class=table_2 >+15</td><td class=table_2 >78 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >6</td><td class=table_2 ><a class=table_2 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Fulham ">Fulham </a></td><td class=table_2 >44</td><td class=table_2 >10</td><td class=table_2 >7</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >44</td><td class=table_2 >31</td><td class=table_2 >11</td><td class=table_2 >6</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >38</td><td class=table_2 >24</td><td class=table_2 >+27</td><td class=table_2 >76 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_3 >7</td><td class=table_3 ><a class=table_3 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Leeds ">Leeds </a></td><td class=table_3 >44</td><td class=table_3 >14</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >5</td><td class=table_3 >29</td><td class=table_3 >13</td><td class=table_3 >8</td><td class=table_3 >4</td><td class=table_3 >10</td><td class=table_3 >28</td><td class=table_3 >30</td><td class=table_3 >+14</td><td class=table_3 >73 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_3 >8</td><td class=table_3 ><a class=table_3 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Norwich ">Norwich </a></td><td class=table_3 >44</td><td class=table_3 >14</td><td class=table_3 >4</td><td class=table_3 >4</td><td class=table_3 >51</td><td class=table_3 >22</td><td class=table_3 >5</td><td class=table_3 >5</td><td class=table_3 >12</td><td class=table_3 >27</td><td class=table_3 >44</td><td class=table_3 >+12</td><td class=table_3 >66 </td></tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/663/Royals_On_Verge_Of_Play-Off_Finish_Despite_Defeat 663 Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:58:30 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Win Over Rotherham: Things We Learned Despite a troublesome first half, Reading edged ever closer to the play-offs with a 2-1 win over Rotherham. Tom Adeyemi gave the away side the lead in the opening twenty minutes after Ali Al-Habsi's initial save landed at his feet. <br/><br/> The Royals struggled to make any real breakthrough until the second-half, when substitute Lewis Grabban finished with a sweetly hit volley. Reading completed the turnaround with John Swift tapping in from close range. <br/><br/> Here are some of the talking points from the game. <p> <strong>A Tale Of Two Halves</strong> <br/><br/> If there was ever a game to epitomise the saying "a tale of two halves", this would be it. It has already been confirmed that Rotherham will be playing in League One next season, but in the opening spell it was Reading who looked like the team in trouble. <br/><br/> Other than Danny Williams, it looked as if the Reading players had not turned up. The play was lethargic and sadly the Royals were sinking to Rotherham's level. The endless time-wasting from Rotherham keeper Richard O'Donnell certainly was not helping matters but Reading only had themselves to blame for their performance. <br/><br/> The second-half in comparison was a completely different story. Liam Kelly was brought on at half-time in place of Yakou Meite and was the spark that Reading needed. With Rotherham dropping further back as the game went on, the Royals found themselves edging ever closer to finding the equaliser. Thankfully for the home side, goals from Grabban and Swift were enough to spare their blushes. </p> <p> <strong>What A Difference A Goal Makes</strong> <br/><br/> Lewis Grabban has not had the best of starts to his Reading career. Fans had high hopes for the striker when he joined on loan from AFC Bournemouth back in January. Sadly he has not lived up to expectation so far; That was until Monday's game. <br/><br/> The striker finally scored his first goal for the club at the weekend - converting a penalty against Aston Villa. It is a well known theory that getting your first goal can often do you the world of good. If his goal against Rotherham is anything to go by, then Grabban is a completely different player to the one we have seen this year. <br/><br/> When Grabban was brought on as a winger, the immediate signs were not promising. However, fast forward to just after the hour mark and any fears subsided. After being picked out at the edge of the area, the striker finished with a powerful volley to level the score. <br/><br/> Reading fans will be hoping that this is only the start of his goalscoring run as he could be a very handy player to have firing if the Royals make the play-offs. </p> <p> <strong>The Future Of Danny Williams</strong> <br/><br/> There was one standout player for the Royals, particularly during the first-half, and that was Danny Williams. While the rest of his teammates looked slow and hesitant, the central midfielder was constantly harassing the opposition and running the ball out of the Reading half. <br/><br/> It was the kind of performance that Reading fans have seen many times before from the American and one that they will certainly hope he continues to replicate until the end of the season. The main concern will be his contract status. The midfielder is one of the highest earners at the club and his contract runs out at the end of the season. Despite having talks with the club, Williams will inevitably be waiting to see which division the Royals are playing in next season before committing his future. <br/><br/> While there are some concerns with the consistency of his performances at times, games like Saturday's remind everyone what he is capable of and what he brings to the squad. </p> <p> <strong>What Does Stam See In Beerens?</strong> <br/><br/> One player who continues to frustrate me is Roy Beerens. Yes he is capable of scoring exceptional goals, but his overall play and demeanour continue to be a concern. <br/><br/> The winger is a favourite with Jaap Stam but it is difficult from a fan perspective to see what he brings to the team - he does not like to defend, is easily forced off the ball, has recently been lacking an end product and spends a lot of his time floating around without actually offering an outlet. <br/><br/> When he first signed for the club, Beerens was a player that I thought could be a star player for Reading. Instead, he has been the source of much dissatisfaction. </p> <p> <strong>Play-Offs Here We Come?</strong> <br/><br/> Reading pushed themselves up to third with their win against Rotherham and subsequently ever closer to a guaranteed place in the play-offs. <br/><br/> In his post-match interview, Jaap Stam commented on the booing from fans at half-time which he felt was directed towards his players. In the same interview he also mentioned how well the team were doing this year in comparison to previous years and subsequently how they did not deserve such a reaction. <br/><br/> Firstly it has to be said (in my opinion) the booing was directed towards the referee and the Rotherham players due to the time-wasting antics and tackles on Danny Williams. Stam does, however, have a point. The Reading team of this year are performing at a vastly higher standard than previous years and subsequently no fan will have been expecting to be so high up the table this year. <br/><br/> Stam has built a team that looks like it will continue to challenge for promotion and Reading fans will continue to enjoy the ride he has taken them on this season. </p> http://www.royals.org/news/662/Win_Over_Rotherham:__Things_We_Learned 662 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:11:14 BST Alex Bower Reading Eventually Overcome Rotherham To Go Third The abysmal away record of already relegated Rotherham suggested this would be a routine home win for the Royals but they were sluggish from the start, and after going behind when Al Habsi spilled the ball from a header to Adeyemi in the nineteenth minute they struggled to break down their lowly opponents. Once again Jaap Stam confounded everyone with his team selection resting Mendes and leaving Kelly on the bench with Grabban after both had starred in a fine away win at Villa two days earlier. The introduction of Kelly at half time brought the missing spark in midfield and allowed Williams, who had fine game, to push forward; and with Meite's right wing berth taken by McCleary normal service was resumed. The stubborn visitors finally succumbed to a brilliant volley from substitute Grabban and an outstanding team goal finished off by Swift. It was vital win but really should have been more comfortable. <br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/170417/Reading_2_Rotherham_1"><strong>Read More...</strong></a> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/170417/Reading_2_Rotherham_1"><strong>Match Report and Opinion:</strong> Reading 2 Rotherham United 1</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/661/Reading_Eventually_Overcome_Rotherham_To_Go_Third 661 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:06:37 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Royals Go To Norwich After Three Straight Wins Reading travel to Norwich City this weekend after a run of three straight league wins that has made a play-off finish more likely than not. The Royals are now nine points clear of seventh placed Fulham with just six games of the season remaining. Any points at Norwich this weekend will go a long way towards making the play-offs a certainty, especially with home games against Wigan and Rotherham still to come for Reading. After a dip in form, the Royals seem to be coming good at just the right time as the season enters it's final stages. Norwich have been inconsistent all season and mid-table is now looking more likely for them. <br/><br/> The last time the two sides met was on Boxing Day at the Madejski Stadium when Reading were helped by Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson getting sent off shortly after the visitors had equalised to make it 1-1. McCleary stuck home the spot-kick rebound to make it 2-1 before Harriott wrapped up the three points with a late third goal for the Royals. <br/><br/> Harriott will be missing this time as he remains out through injury. Rakels is still yet to make an appearance after returning from injury and may be hoping to get some match action before the season wrap up. Paul McShane and Joey van den Berg may both be back available for selection but Stam may keep Tiago Ilori involved again after he returned from injury during Tuesday night's 3-1 victory over Blackburn. Jordan Obita could also miss out due to minor injury. <br/><br/> Norwich have let in five goals in their last two games, without scoring, and will have a big boost with defenders Mitchell Dijks and Ivo Pinto back in action. Both players have been out due to suspensions which ended after their 0-3 away defeat against Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night. Norwich have suffered with their away form but this promises to be a difficult game for the Royals. <br/><br/> At home Norwich are unbeaten in nine games, which has included some big wins and a 2-2 draw with table toppers Newcastle United. Norwich still have a slim chance of getting in the play-offs but that is looking increasingly unlikely. Should Norwich fail to beat Reading their season will effectively be over and caretaker manager Alan Irvine will probably be pleased to hand the reins over. <h3>Recent Meetings With Norwich City</h3> <table border="0" class="fixtures" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" width="100%" style="border:0"> <tr> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>DATE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>COMPETITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>OPPOSITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>SCORE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>REPORT</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">26 December 2016 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/261216.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 3-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/261216.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">28 December 2014 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/281214.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/281214.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">29 November 2014 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/291114.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/291114.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">20 April 2013 </td> <td class="fixtures">Premier League</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/200413.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/200413.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">10 November 2012 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Premier League</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/101112.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/101112.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">12 February 2011 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/120211.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/120211.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">13 November 2010 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131110.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 3-3</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131110.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">27 April 2009 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/270409.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/270409.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">13 December 2008 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131208.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131208.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/660/Royals_Go_To_Norwich_After_Three_Straight_Wins 660 Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:46:22 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Victory Over Blackburn - Match Review <p> Reading FC built upon their 1-0 win against Leeds at the weekend with a 3-1 victory against relegation candidates Blackburn Rovers. Yann Kermorgant picked up a brace in the opening half hour, with the Reading target man heading both past Jason Steele in the Blackburn goal. Elliott Bennett threatened to mount a second-half comeback for the away side thanks to his well taken volley but Garath McCleary put the result beyond any doubt only minutes later. <br/><br/> Here are some of the things to come out of the game: <p> <strong>Yann The Man</strong> <br/><br/> Yann Kermorgant has seemingly had plenty to say in recent times - first his "mind games" prior to the Leeds game where he spoke out about their over-reliance on Chris Wood then his retirement announcement. <br/><br/> Luckily for Reading, he has also had plenty to say out on the pitch - so much so he can be considered a vital member of the squad in the lead up to a critical period. If the Blackburn game showed anything it was what can happen when his teammates can deliver a decent ball into the box once in a while. </p> <p> <strong>Swift Back To His Best</strong> <br/><br/> There was a concerning period after his injury when John Swift did not look like the player he was earlier in the season. The England U21 International has been a very important player for the Royals this year and has subsequently secured a place in the fans' hearts. <br/><br/> Thankfully for said fans, the midfielder seems to be back to his best at the opportune moment. </p> <p> <strong>Still Room To Improve</strong> <br/><br/> No one can deny that Reading have been performing well above expectations this season. While that is the case, there were still some improvements that could have been made on Tuesday evening. <br/><br/> Blackburn Rovers are currently in the bottom three and largely performed like a team facing relegation. That said, rather than putting the game beyond any doubt, Reading let them back into the match and offered them far too many chances in front of goal. <br/><br/> Certain individuals also performed well below their capabilities - Jordon Mutch looked lost for large parts of the first half while even Garath McCleary had to laugh at his comical finishing (goal aside). <br/><br/> Whether it was due to the team changes prior to the game, substitutions during it or just a lack of concentration following a vital win against Leeds, there were some creases that will need ironing out for the last few fixtures. </p> <p> <strong>Centre-Back Options</strong> <br/><br/> One of the many positives to take away from Tuesday's game is that Reading suddenly have options in the centre-back position again. <br/><br/> Jaap Stam opted with the ever-consistent Liam Moore and partnered him with Reece Oxford due to the injury to Paul McShane. While the absence of the Irishman is not ideal, Oxford looks like the real deal already. Another positive is the return of Tiago Ilori, who will be hoping to remain in the team until the end of the season. <br/><br/> As the games keep coming, having potentially too many defensive options can only be a good thing for the Royals. </p> <p> <strong>Attendances</strong> <br/><br/> It's something that gets brought up time and time again but is a consistent issue at the Madejski Stadium - attendances. <br/><br/> The Leeds fixture understandably attracted a bumper crowd at the weekend. Not so many fans turned out, however, against Blackburn - 15,353 to be precise. Weekday fixtures do always tend to have smaller attendances but in a season that could potentially result in promotion, the team continue to deserve better. </p> http://www.royals.org/news/659/Victory_Over_Blackburn_-_Match_Review 659 Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:32:24 BST Alex Bower Reading Up To Third With Win Over Blackburn Reading started the game with a confidence and swagger which comes from successive wins against good opposition and raced into a two goal lead within the first half an hour. Rovers looked a beaten side and the Royals appeared to take their foot off the gas. With nothing to lose Rovers made changes at half time and with a more offensive formation put Reading on the back foot. A superb long range strike from Bennett brought the visitors back into the game with around fifteen minutes left to play. Any hope a comeback were immediately extinguished when a minute later McCleary drilled the ball into the corner of the net. With Leeds and Fulham losing ground with defeats at Brentford and Derby respectively Reading's chances of reaching the play-offs took a significant step in the right direction. <Br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/040417/Reading_3_Blackburn_1"><strong>Read More...</strong> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/040417/Reading_3_Blackburn_1"><strong>Match Report:</strong> Reading 3 Blackburn Rovers 1</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/658/Reading_Up_To_Third_With_Win_Over_Blackburn 658 Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:03:22 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Look To Continue Home Form Against Blackburn 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. <br/><Br/> 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. <br/><Br/> 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. <br/><Br/> 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. <br/><Br/> 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. <h3>Recent Meetings With BLACKBURN</h3> <table border="0" class="fixtures" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" width="100%" style="border:0"> <tr> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>DATE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>COMPETITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>OPPOSITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>SCORE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>REPORT</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">17 December 2016 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/171216.html">Blackburn (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 3-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/171216.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">07 May 2016 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/070516.html">Blackburn (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-3</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/070516.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">20 December 2015 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/201215.html">Blackburn (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/201215.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">11 April 2015 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/110415.html">Blackburn (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/110415.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">01 November 2014 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/011114.html">Blackburn (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-3</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/011114.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">22 February 2014 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/220214.html">Blackburn (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/220214.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">23 November 2013 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/231113.html">Blackburn (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/231113.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/657/Reading_Look_To_Continue_Home_Form_Against_Blackburn 657 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 14:53:41 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Huge Play-Off Finish Boost With Win Over Leeds A strike of awesome power by Yan Kermorgant in the twenty-second minute was a goal worthy of winning this keenly contested battle between two teams destined for the play-offs. After tense opening Reading took control of the match with some of the best football seem at the Madejski Stadium this season. By half time the Royals should have had the game wrapped up. <br/><br/> Beerens and McCleary spurned good opportunities to extend their lead with only the 'keeper to beat and Kermorgant hit the post on the stroke of half time. Predictably Leeds pushed hard for the equaliser after the interval but they lacked the subtlety to break down a resolute Reading defence. Reading dealt with a barrage of long high balls in to the box effectively and were not fazed by United's attempts to intimidate them. For all their pressure in the final stages Al Habsi had remarkably little to do. Reading deservedly took all three points from a game they might well have won more comfortably with more composure in front of goal. <br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/010417/Reading_1_Leeds_0"><strong>Read More...</a> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/010417/Reading_1_Leeds_0"><stong>Match Report:</strong> Reading 1 Leeds United 0</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/656/Huge_Play-Off_Finish_Boost_With_Win_Over_Leeds 656 Sun, 02 Apr 2017 19:08:36 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Play Off Rivals Clash As Leeds Visit After the international break, the Royals return to Championship action this weekend, playing Leeds United at the Madejski Stadium with a 5:30pm kick-off on Saturday. The game has been shifted to later in the day to allow Sky TV to screen the match live as both sides look to vital points to close in on a play-off finish. Immediately before the two week break, Reading put a poor run of form behind them to win away from home at play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday. That huge result swung a play-off finish back in Reading's favour when they had looked in danger of dropping out. With that result and seventh placed Fulham losing at home to Wolves, Reading find themselves with a six point cushion keeping them inside the top six. A win over Leeds on Saturday, which is a big ask, would see Reading move back up to fourth with seven games of the season remaining. <br/><br/> It is rapidly approaching make or break time and this is our toughest, most important home fixture remaining. After Leeds we only have Blackburn, Rotherham and Wigan visiting Reading - which are surely all winable games as we look to finish the season on a high. Leeds come into the match having beaten second placed Brighton in their last fixture and have gone seven games without league defeat. Their last three games on the road have seen them pick up an impressive five points to keep them narrowly above the Royals in the table. With recent wins over Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday and a draw away at Fulham they probably fancy their chances of picking up a point or more. <br/><br/> The international break gave no new worries for Jaap Stam, whose available players seems to grow every week. Reece Oxford and John Swift both made appearances for England's younger sides and returned without injury. The break gave Paul McShane and Liam Kelly opportunities to continue their recoveries from injuries and both players will hope to be involved on Saturday. For Leeds United Kalvin Phillips returns from suspension but they will be without defender Luke Ayling. <br/><br/> Reading will be looking to reverse a bad run of recent results against Leeds. In our last five games we have failed to score in four of them. That run includes two goalless draws and three defeats. We lost 0-2 at Leeds earlier this season and picked up a point from them in the last campaign with the highlight, if you can call that, being a 0-0 home draw. A draw wouldn't be a terrible result, but if we can pick up three points it really will feel like a play-off finish is more likely than not. <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/history/Leeds">Reading -v- Leeds - Previous Meetings Archive</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Recent Meetings With Leeds United</h3> <table border="0" class="fixtures" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" width="100%" style="border:0"> <tr> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>DATE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>COMPETITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>OPPOSITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>SCORE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>REPORT</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">13 December 2016 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/131216.html">Leeds (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/131216.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">16 April 2016 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/160416.html">Leeds (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 2-3</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/160416.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">16 August 2015 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/160815.html">Leeds (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/160815.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">10 February 2015 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/100215.html">Leeds (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-2</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/100215.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">01 October 2014 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/011014.html">Leeds (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/011014.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">11 March 2014 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/110314.html">Leeds (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 4-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/110314.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">18 September 2013 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/180913.html">Leeds (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/180913.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">06 April 2012 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/060412.html">Leeds (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/060412.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">17 December 2011 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/171211.html">Leeds (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/171211.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">22 April 2011 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/220411.html">Leeds (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/220411.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">27 November 2010 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/271110.html">Leeds (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/271110.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/655/Play_Off_Rivals_Clash_As_Leeds_Visit 655 Fri, 31 Mar 2017 15:23:18 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Wednesday And Reading Hope To Stay In Top Six The run of tough away fixtures against play-off and promotion rivals continues with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Friday evening. The Royals travel to Sheffield after recent away defeats at Preston, Brighton and Huddersfield. Those three defeats, in which Reading have failed to score a goal, have cast Reading's promotion hopes into serious doubt with the Royals now just three points inside the play-off positions. Fulham, one place outside the play-offs, are hoping to sneak into sixth place at the expense of either the Royals or Wednesday. All the games are crucial at this stage of the season, but another away defeat for Reading could have serious consequences on a top six finish. <br/><br/> Reading have only won two games out of their last eight - that's hardly the form of a promotion chasing side. Away from home we have picked up just a single point from our last four attempts. The only consolation for Reading is that Sheffield Wednesday's recent form is so similar. The form for both sides in the league reads two defeats, a win and a draw, followed by another defeat. While Reading were losing 0-3 at Preston last weekend, the Owls were losing 0-2 at Aston Villa. However Wednesday's last two home games have been a 5-1 win over Norwich City and a 1-1 draw with Burton Albion. The Royals will need a change in their form away from the Madejski to get anything from this. If Reading are beaten on the road again they are likely to be the only team in the top ten with a negative goal difference. <br/><br/> Jaap Stam may happily state that the plan was never to get promoted this season, but having been in the play-off positions for most of the season, it will still be a huge disappointment to drop out of the top six on the final run in. Reading were third in the table for ages before the recent drop in form. The outside chance of automatic promotion has long gone but Reading should still remain favourites for a play-off finish. <br/><br/> After a poor defensive performance at Preston, Stam may have both Liam Moore and Paul McShane available for selection. Moore has been out injured and McShane was replaced after 73 minutes at Preston - giving Reece Oxford some rare time on the pitch. Stam's changes this week will probably be in defence, but there are question marks in midfield where Liam Kelly could be back in the side after being rested. George Evans was an unused substitute last weekend and is another option. For the home side striker Forestieri is expected to miss out through injury and defender Vincent Sasso will definately be ruled out as he begins his suspension. <h3>Recent Meetings With Sheffield Wednesday</h3> <table border="0" class="fixtures" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" width="100%" style="border:0"> <tr> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>DATE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>COMPETITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>OPPOSITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>SCORE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>REPORT</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">10 December 2016 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/101216.html">Sheff Wed (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/101216.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">23 January 2016 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/230116.html">Sheff Wed (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 1-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/230116.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">19 August 2015 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/190815.html">Sheff Wed (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 1-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/190815.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">31 January 2015 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/310115.html">Sheff Wed (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/310115.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">20 September 2014 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/200914.html">Sheff Wed (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/200914.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">08 February 2014 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/080214.html">Sheff Wed (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-2</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/080214.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">02 November 2013 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/021113.html">Sheff Wed (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 2-5</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/021113.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">27 February 2010 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/270210.html">Sheff Wed (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 5-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/270210.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">05 December 2009 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/051209.html">Sheff Wed (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/051209.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">03 March 2009 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/030309.html">Sheff Wed (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/030309.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">16 September 2008 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/160908.html">Sheff Wed (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 6-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/160908.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/654/Wednesday_And_Reading_Hope_To_Stay_In_Top_Six 654 Thu, 16 Mar 2017 17:21:01 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Sheffield Wednesday vs Reading preview <p>In this match preview special we partnered up with Eddie Gallagher, Championship and Premier League editor at <a href="https://footballpredictions.com/">FootballPredictions.com</a>, to give you some insights on the upcoming match. Sheffield Wednesday and Reading face each other at legendary Hillsborough Stadium in the opening game of Matchday 38. Both sides sit in the play-offs berth, meaning that a close encounter appears on the horizon.</p> <p>Hillsborough Stadium - the fortress</p> <p>Sheffield Wednesday are eager to return to the Premier League, but, as things stand now, they are unlikely to secure automatic promotion to the English top flight. The Owls, though, are on the right track to book their place in the Championship play-offs, but the season is quite long and they must take every single game very seriously if they are to finish the 2016/2017 campaign in top six. Sheffield Wednesday crushed Norwich City (5-1) in their penultimate home fixture in the English second tier, with experienced attacker Jordan Rhodes scoring twice against Alex Neil's troops. Rhodes aims to add more goals to his account and he is likely to pose a big threat for the opposition defenders in Friday's clash. Carlos Carvalhal's men have been impressive at their Hillsborough Stadium so far this season and it has to be noted that they are eyeing their 13th home win.</p> <p>Last win at Wednesday back in 2009</p> <p>Reading coach and former Dutch centre-back <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaap_Stam" target="_blank">Jaap Stam</a> is on a quest to bring glory days back to Madejski Stadium. The Royals sit in the play-offs places ahead of the trip to Sheffield, but their job is half-done. Reading are on a six-game unbeaten run at home ground and they did well to hold Newcastle United to a goalless draw in their last home fixture. Nonetheless, their away record is anything but impressive and, no doubt, the visitors would be happy with one point from Friday's showdown against Wednesday. Jaap Stam's team recorded their last win at Hillsborough Stadium back in 2009 and considering that the Owls are tough to beat at home, I do not believe that the Royals are capable of putting an end to the negative trend. When the two teams met at Madejski Stadium earlier this season Reading emerged triumphant, with Roy Beerens scoring a brace for the hosts. Former Bournemouth attacker Yann Kermorgant is widely expected to lead the attack for the visitors against Sheffield. The Frenchman is the team's top scorer, meaning that the opposition back-line should have him at bay.</p> <p>Prediction</p> <p>Both Sheffield Wednesday and Reading are desperate to book their place in the Championship play-offs and many football predictions suggest that both sides will go for a win in Friday's derby. As we have already mentioned, the Owls have turned their Hillsborough Stadium into a real fortress and they are likely to find the net on Matchday 38. However, seeing that Carlos Carvalhal's men failed to keep a clean sheet in previous four home games in the league, we predict that the Royals will score in the Hillsborough Stadium clash as well. You should bear in mind that both teams found the net in each of their last three meetings in the English second tier.&nbsp;There is plenty of decisive matches coming up in this round of the Championship. You can find more of Galllagher and his team's work on <a href="https://footballpredictions.com/footballpredictions/championshippredictions/">https://footballpredictions.com/footballpredictions/championshippredictions/</a></p> http://www.royals.org/news/653/Sheffield_Wednesday_vs_Reading_preview 653 Thu, 16 Mar 2017 17:03:24 GMT Eddie Gallagher Reading Aim To Remove Preston From Play Off Race The tough games against teams at the top of the Championship continue to arrive at a fast rate for the Royals. Having secured a useful point at home to table toppers Newcastle United mid-week, this weekend Reading have a really good chance to effectively eliminate Preston North End from the play-off race. With 10 League games of the season remaining, Preston are 11 points behind the Royals in ninth place. A Reading victory would surely end any realistic chance Preston have of taking a play-off place from the Royals - and take Reading one huge step closer to a top six finish. However, as is always the way, a win for Preston would see Reading looking nervously at the chasing pack as they close the gap on sixth spot. <br/><br/> Jaap Stam's choice for starting eleven really is anyone's guess. It changes every week and he certainly doesn't like to be predictable with players out of position and those who'd you'd expect to be playing left out on the bench. Liam Moore has been excellent all season for Reading but will have to miss out after picking up a hamstring injury and limping off on Tuesday night. The arrival of Jordan Obita off the bench against Newcastle coincided with a strong finish to the game from Reading. Obita is clearly a better left back than Blackett - so the obvious choice is Blackett to move into the middle to replace the injured Moore and Obita to be recalled to the starting eleven on the left. However, Stam may have other plans. <br/><br/> Liam Kelly only managed the first half against Newcastle before being substituted. It appeared tactical but Stam hinted it was due to a hamstring issue. Either way he may find himself swapped out for the trip to Preston. Kelly is another player who has been excellent this season but wasn't his best against the Magpies on Tuesday. <br/><br/> Preston have only lost once in the League in their last seven games. That was a 1-3 reverse at Fulham who are rapidly closing in on Reading and the top six. Those last seven games may have only included 3 wins, but all of those have come at home. In the whole of 2017 Preston have only dropped two points at home over five league games and will be hoping to continue that run - and in doing so keep their season alive. Reading have only picked up one point from their last three away games - although that did include defeats at Huddersfield and Brighton. The last time the two sides met was on the opening day of the season when Preston were defeated 1-0 at the Madejski Stadium thanks to a debut goal from John Swift. <h3>Recent Meetings With Preston North End</h3> <table border="0" class="fixtures" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" width="100%" style="border:0"> <tr> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>DATE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>COMPETITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>OPPOSITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>SCORE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>REPORT</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">06 August 2016 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/060816.html">Preston (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/060816.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">30 April 2016 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/300416.html">Preston (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/300416.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">12 December 2015 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/121215.html">Preston (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/121215.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">05 April 2011 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/050411.html">Preston (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/050411.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">02 October 2010 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/021010.html">Preston (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 1-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/021010.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">02 May 2010 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/020510.html">Preston (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 4-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/020510.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">29 September 2009 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/290909.html">Preston (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/290909.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">07 February 2009 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/070209.html">Preston (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/070209.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">18 October 2008 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/181008.html">Preston (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/181008.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> </table> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/history/Preston">View full archive of meetings between Reading and Preston North End</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/652/Reading_Aim_To_Remove_Preston_From_Play_Off_Race 652 Fri, 10 Mar 2017 16:24:22 GMT Hob Nob Anyone?