When : Saturday 6th February 2020, 3pm
Where : Bet365 Stadium, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke On Trent, ST4 4EG
Capacity : 30,089
Reading, needing one more win to more or less guarantee safety for this season, next make a trip to the “five towns” and it won’t be easy. Stoke are awkward, physical and actually not that bad at playing the game so a Reading win will be a very decent achievement indeed.
Briefly nicknamed the Ploppers (Wikipedia circa 31 January), Stoke City is not altogether on a good run with 5 points all there is to show from the last 7 league games played. But the club is organised and difficult to beat as those 5 points have emerged from 5 drawn games and the only defeats being to both Bournemouth and Watford. Add to that the not unusual Reading factor of opponent in bad form equals win for opponent then you’ll realise this game is indeed going to be a hard challenge. But at least the dreadful defensive performance in this season’s reverse fixture should give something for VP to work on with the players.
Stoke’s bad run could well be put down to the struggle the club have had with injuries but, just as you’d expect, well in time for this game that injury run appears to now be disappearing into the past with the likes of Stephen Fletcher etc. back and raring to go. Fletcher is the usual pain for Reading though Nick Powell is actually the leading scorer with 7 strikes. Early in this window two very useful attackers Jack Clarke (Spurs) and Rabbi Matondo (Schalke 04) joined on loan so there is going to be a lot of attacking threat for Morro, T-Mac et al to marshall.
Stoke will be without striker Tyrese Campbell through injury and defender Rhys Norrington-Davies through suspension but will have new loan signing D’Margio Wright-Phillips available. Reading should be pretty much as good as you can get though with Liam Moore being the only proverbial “first name on the team sheet” player still unavailable.
Mr Tim “7 Reading league defeats from the last 8” Robinson.
09 Dec 20 > Reading 1-2 Birmingham City
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
The 24 previous visits to Stoke in the league have brought Reading 6 wins and 6 draws so probably not too bad for northern trek in the scheme of things. The biggest win there was 4-0 almost 20 or so years ago while the heaviest defeat was by 5-0
How to follow the game
- 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)