When : Saturday, 25th February 2023, 3pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
Next for AFC Charity is the “supposedly” winnable visit from the proverbial banana skins of Blackpool.
Blackpool are languishing inside the dreaded bottom three and on a terrific run of 1 league win in 16 games (since October) so prime charitable fare for the Royals and certainly not a game that's going to produce a home team goal fest. Even though Blackpool have Readingesque away form (they've lost 4 of their last 4 league games on the road and scored just once) and are 21st in the away form table it will come as no surprise to many when Ince selects an overly negative XI to struggle its way through the game.
The Seasiders do have dangerous moments though and have got a point at Burnley and won at QPR and Coventry so far, they're also now managed by the wily Mick McCarthy (just starting his second month at the helm) so are likely to be decently organised and hard to break down. Josh Bowler is usually a big threat and the goals have been scored by Jerry Yates in the main (9 goals) and Gary Madine (4 goals) so Reading will need to be sure to shut down their service.
Injury will rob Blackpool of Tom Trybull, Charlie Goode, Marvin Ekpiteta, Kevin Stewart, Keshi Anderson and Liam Bridcutt plus they have a doubt over Jerry Yates while Reading should be able to welcome back Tom Holmes and Jeff Hendrick after injury and illness respectively. Andy Yiadom misses out on his second and last game through suspension.
As ever this game will probably come down to an embarrassing struggle which Reading may well win but mostly because the few hardy souls that turn up do enough to get the players over the line rather than through a magnificent attacking performance and the taking of the game to the Tangerines right from the start.
Other fixtures for clubs around Reading on Saturday - for those concerned about the possibility of a looming relegation fight:
Coventry City v Sunderland
Birmingham City v Luton Town
Bristol City v Hull City
Burnley v Huddersfield Town
Norwich City v Cardiff City
Preston North End v Wigan Athletic
Queens Park Rangers v Blackburn Rovers
Stoke City v Millwall
John “no Reading wins yet” Brooks
01 Nov 22 > Luton Town 0-0 Reading
13 Apr 21 > Reading 1-1 Cardiff City
04 Nov 20 > Reading 0-3 Preston North End
04 Jan 20 > Reading 2-2 Blackpool (FA Cup 3)
27 Apr 19 > Middlesbrough 2-1 Reading
09 Feb 19 > Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Reading
26 Jan 18 > Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Reading (FA Cup 4)
23 Dec 17 > Reading 1-2 Burton Albion
Previous league games between the clubs have returned 17 Reading wins to 15 for the Seasiders from 43 games played and of those 43, 37 have been played since December 1979. And Blackpool have won 3 of the last 3.
In Reading there have been 12 wins for the Royals against 3 for Blackpool and Reading have won 5 of the last 6 league games played at home.
How to follow the game
- Get a ticket and travel to 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 a RoyalsTV subscription
- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)