When : Saturday, 21st September, 3pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
And 7 months after they last appeared before us, they're back again. Blackburn Rovers. And some are already saying it's "must win" game after the inconsistent start of the season for Reading. Sides have had poor and inconsistent starts before and achieved promotion or a play off finish, Reading themselves had a real stinking start to 2011/2012 but got promoted at the end. Not saying that's going to happen of course but it's about now some consistently decent results have to start turning up if that goal wants to remain on the horizon as a believable target for the management to aim at.
Blackburn are not a bad outfit though I'd really expect them to see out this season pretty much like their last by not really troubling either end of the league table. They're currently 11th after 3 wins a draw from 7 games, so not really that much different from Reading and a home win would put the two clubs into an identical playing record. Form wise it's 1 win, 1 draw and 1 defeat from their last 3 league outings though the defeat was at WBA. Rovers are fairly versatile in their set up, favouring a 4-2-3-1 arrangement mostly but do sometimes switch to 3 central defenders or play 3 up front depending on the opposition. Bradley Dack, Stewart Downing and Charlie Mulgrew are probably their best known players while Dominic Samuel is still with the club but has yet to feature for them this season.
Miazga may well be back in the squad by Saturday but my guess is it'll be Swansea before he's risked again. In addition Meite was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after the ‘boro game following the clash with a ‘boro player in the first half but the club are hopeful he’ll be OK for Blackburn. Other than that I actually believe the club generally have a clean bill of health (touchwood) for the first time in two years.
Back in February JG selected Martínez, Yiadom, Moore, Miazga, Blackett, Kelly, Swift, Ejaria, Richards, Aluko, Oliveira. Subs: Walker, Gunter, Harriott, Baker, Barrow, Méïté, Böðvarsson. Eight of those players are no longer with the club (though Aluko is only on loan to Beijing Rehne and will presumably be back in November - the Blackburn game was his last for Reading to date).
Matthew Donohue is back for his second game with Reading in just over a month
10 Aug 19 > Hull City 1-0 Reading
Reading hadn't played a league game against Blackburn until a 1-1 draw on Saturday 1st December 1979. Since then there's been a further 9 visits from the Rovers and it's a case of 4 wins to Reading and 2 to Blackburn. Apart from one game, things have tended to be very close affairs with a goal deciding it or more than likely no goals happening whatsoever.
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 (by the way has anyone managed to get the actual game commentary working on an iPhone/android as yet)
- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)