When : Sunday, 5th May, 12.30pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
And so the sun descends on another season that was probably forgotten by all as soon as Rotherham lost last weekend.
Another season has passed and another chance to achieve even lower mid-table security was spurned long before the first trick or treaters called on you to slip Reading FC STs through your letter box if you didn’t massage their internal workings with cheap cardboard chocolate and various super Enumerated candy.
Birmingham arrive in a false position. They should be in 14th place on 60 points but some financial/administrative shenanigans was judged foul by the FL and so they find themselves in 17th place with a mere 51 points. Currently Brum are unbeaten in 6 (4 draws, 2 wins) but then they lost all 5 of their league games before that so that means it’s actually 2 wins in 11 - one against Rotherham and the other against Yorkshire Coca Cola.
So Birmingham are nothing special really but then “nothing special really” has spent a lot of the last 2 years rumbling into Reading and collecting nicely gift wrapped points all lovely and clean as they’re never used in Berkshire. Prime case being New Year’s Day 2018 when then bottom of the table Birmingham with only 3 points on the road at that time strolled in half asleep, failed to offer very much but it was still better than the fetid offering served up by their hosts (seem to recall an awful lot of home fans walking out with as much as 20 minutes left as it was that awful).
But now meet the new Reading, seemingly on the rise with new continental management that – at the moment – appears to have got the whole club and town positive and totally behind what they are trying to do. They have already achieved what looked to be the impossible by keeping the club in the division and results and performances are slowly much more convincing and there’s even been some entertainment from the hoops in recent months.
How much of that can be taken forward over the summer into the new season remains to be seen given the likely departure of all the loans that have done so very well and yet more squad upheaval that will be necessitated in order to try and get every penny available for summer bargains, in both the permanent and loan markets, to bolster the bright but inexperienced youth starting to find its way more fluidly into the first team.
Teams news says Birmingham's Kieftenbeld (knee), Dean (hernia) and Morrison (ankle) are definitely out of the game. While Connor Mahoney (hamstring) and Garry Monk (wanted by WBA) are slight doubts but should make it. For Reading I would expect a little bit of experimentation with the likes of Eza, Barrett and Olise possibly getting a look in in but JG will want the season to finish on a high so would not expect full scale changes.
There should be the standard player’s lap of honour after the game for those that missed the lap of honour after the Wigan game and the PotS award will be made (probably to Andy Yiadom with Andy Rinomhota and Yakou Meite making up the numbers).
It’s Mr Stroud again, back in less than a month. Note he also took charge of Reading’s last home game last season, a repeat of which does not bear thinking about.
10 Apr 2019 > Norwich City 2-2 Reading
27 Oct 2018 > Swansea City 2-0 Reading
28 Apr 2018 > Reading 0-4 Ipswich Town
02 Dec 2017 > Sunderland 1-3 Reading
04 Nov 2017 > Derby County 2-4 Reading
01 Apr 2017 > Reading 1-0 Leeds United
14 Feb 2017 > Reading 3-2 Brentford
19 Nov 2016 > Reading 3-0 Burton Albion
28 Dec 2015 > Reading 1-2 Brentford
07 Nov 2015 > Cardiff City 2-0 Reading
03 Oct 2015 > Reading 2-0 Middlesbrough
14 Apr 2015 > Reading 0-1 Bournemouth
29 Mar 2014 > Reading 1-1 Huddersfield Town
11 Jan 2014 > Watford 0-1 Reading
13 Aug 2011 > Leicester City 0-2 Reading
03 Apr 2010 > Ipswich Town 2-1 Reading
06 Feb 2010 > Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Reading
29 Dec 2007 > Tottenham Hotspur 6-4 Reading
22 Sep 2007 > Reading 2-1 Wigan Athletic
25 Feb 2006 > Reading 2-1 Preston North End
23 Aug 2005 > Reading 3-1 Swansea City (League Cup)
No meetings before 1986 in any competition
It took 8 games to record the first home win
In 16 previous home league games Reading have managed just 4 wins compared to 6 from Birmingham
How to follow the game
- Get a ticket and travel to the Mad Stad
- Listen to Radio 5 Live and/or a myriad of other radio stations for score flashes
- Ring/text a mate for updates
- Use an iFollow subscription
- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)
But at least (for now anyway)