When : Wednesday 9th December, 7.45pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
It will have been just over 1 year since Birmingham last appeared in Reading for a league game and many are expecting this to be a great opportunity to capitalise on the good work of the last couple of weeks. Trouble is it is Birmingham at home and Reading just don’t seem to ever do Birmingham at home.
The Blues have not been great this season so far with just 4 wins to show for their efforts. However they won their last fixture (at Bristol City) and are a bit of a draw specialist having shared the spoils on 7 occasions so aren’t exactly too easy to vanquish either. That said, before the Bristol game, they had won none of the previous 6 and amassed just 3 points in that time. Most worryingly though Brum have won 2 and drawn 3 of their previous 5 away games (and only have the 1 away defeat (at Norwich) all season) so they know what they’re doing on their travels and given Reading’s tendency to neatly gift wrap 3 points for the Blues in this fixture we should all be very wary of them.
The Blues likely starting XI will be something akin to Etheridge, Colin, Roberts, Dean, Friend, Kieftenbeld, Sunjic, Sánchez, Toral, Bela and Hogan with, it seems, perennial substitute Lucas Jutkiewicz on the bench to provide further annoyance if not manacled properly, plus they have just received clearance to play free agent Alen Halilovic who signed after being released by AC Milan. Reportedly Birmingham have a fairly physical approach to matches at the moment so I expect this game is going to be very irritating and frustrating to watch.
Birmingham’s Adam Clayton and Josh McEachran are expected to miss the game though injury while Reading will continue to go without the services of Andy Yiadom, George Puscas, Felipe Araruna and Jon Swift.
This is the sort of game the team that Reading are trying to be this season must win. As we know from the last few years this miserable fixture has generally brought no reward for the Biscuitmen so getting those 3 points will be something of an achievement.
Tim Robinson (who also had the pleasure of last year’s shambles)
19 Sep 20 > Reading 2-0 Barnsley
18 Jul 20 > Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Reading
07 Dec 19 > Reading 2-3 Birmingham City
06 Apr 19 > Hull City 3-1 Reading
01 Jan 19 > Reading 1-4 Swansea City
19 Sep 18 > Reading 1-2 Norwich City
16 Jan 18 > Reading 3-0 Stevenage (FA Cup 3)
30 Sep 17 > Reading 1-2 Norwich City
29 Apr 17 > Reading 1-0 Wigan Athletic
01 Oct 16 > Reading 1-1 Derby County
02 Feb 16 > Ipswich Town 2-1 Reading
21 Sep 13 > Derby County 1-3 Reading
Well at least this one doesn’t present much to live up to. Previous home league games with Birmingham have generally worked out to be utter disasters with Reading usually handing performances that at best can only be described as shambolic.
Games with Birmingham only go back 35 years or so and in that time Birmingham have turned up in Reading on 18 occasions and won 7 times while Reading have struggled to a mere 4 victories. Most depressing are the last 6 games played at home to Brum which has seen the home team manage a fantastic return of 2 whole points while serving up some quite clueless and utterly inept performances (e.g. that dreadful 0-2 of January 2018).
So, if I were you, I’d avoid this one as if there was a global pandemic....
How to follow the game
- Red button
- 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)