When : Wednesday 11th December, 7.45pm
Where : Oakwell, Grove Street, Barnsley, S71 1ET
Away Stand : North Stand
What might I not see in the area : Michael Parkinson
After the pile of festering animal waste matter that manifested against Birmingham, Reading once again find themselves teetering between involvement in yet another relegation battle or moving somewhere into obscurity. This is probably going to be as difficult as it comes as Barnsley are sure to be up for the fight as they’ll see this fixture as about as winnable as they come for a club in their position.
The appointment of Gerhard Struber three games ago has lifted fortunes at the club following a pretty miserable run beforehand. OK that lift is only 1 win and 2 defeats but that is a definite upturn on the no wins in 17 games that they were experiencing prior to his appointment.
One thing to note is that in Barnsley’s last 12 games there has only been 1 clean sheet recorded by any of the teams playing in those games (by Middlesbrough when Barnsley lost 1-0) so there should be an expectation for goals in this one (I’d therefore put money on the 0-0) so Reading will have to offer some creativity alongside fight and spirit all of which have been sadly lacking for the vast majority of the last couple of games.
Cauley Woodrow is the main strike threat with 7 goals in 17 games while Conor Chaplin has chipped in with 4 from 18 so if the management of these two gentleman is successful Barnsley should become a little easier to handle. Failure to do so is asking for trouble as Barnsley are certainly giving a good fight having twice led at Cardiff before losing to a last minute injury time strike on Saturday. In addition their 2 wins so far were both at home, last time out v Hull and v Fulham on the opening day so this is in no way an easy game (even more so when you consider Reading’s utterly appalling record for away midweek league fixtures which has seen only 2 wins in 34 attempts - the positive side to that though is both wins were at teams beginning with the letter B)...
Barnsley are expected to be at full strength while Reading will be missing John Swift (probably out until the trip to Fulham) and sweating over the fitness of Baldock, Obita, Yiadom and Ejaria. Chances are that Yiadom will start (esp. given that Barnsley is his former club so will be definitely anxious to do well) while Baldock should make the bench. Ejaria may also make the starting line up depending on the outcome of the scan on his groin on Sunday. Obita is training again but his involvement will depend on what levels he hits in training.
Lastly, those with Sky subscriptions should be able to follow the game via the red button facility.
Matthew Donohue is back again for his 3rd Reading game in 4 months - and before this season he’d never been near a Reading fixture. Sadly he has 100% record so far.
21 Sep 19 > Reading 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
10 Aug 19 > Hull City 1-0 Reading
Reading away from home to play that oft quoted, proverbial game always thrown up when some mercurial foreign talent arrives from some hotter clime (that took some spelling, damn checker kept converting hotter to hooters), got to be a miserable time to be had by all southern softies surely?
Well no actually, it was like that once but it’s not that bad these days.....
This will be the 35th time league action has occurred between the two teams in South Yorkshire and so far Reading have won 11 of the games compared to Barnsley’s 16. Sadly though fate will now be tempted as the bit Reading have to protect on Wednesday is the fact that since they moved to the Mad Stad they have made this league trip 7 times and obtained 17 points following 5 wins and 2 draws.
How to follow the game
- Get a ticket and travel all the way up north
- 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)
- Red button