When : Wednesday 16th December, 8pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
Norwich. Another of the three relegated PL clubs from last season and another that has, arguably, been preparing for an assault on the Championship title since being promoted to the PL 18 months ago. So this isn’t going to be easy, and most likely not very attractive to watch from a Reading perspective.
Teemu Pukki is the star name and has bagged 9 goals from 17 appearances, Emiliano Buendia is next best with 4 goals and Mario Vrancic with 3, then there’s Jordan Hugill if the former are not pulling up any trees. Defensively only 15 have been conceded so you can see the problem Reading are going to have esp. as Norwich will press high and effectively which is the usual style Reading have great trouble in countering.
Daniel Farke’s team have lost just one of their last 14 games despite consistent injury problems, with Adam Idah and Bali Mumba likely to be out until February with knee injuries and Sam Byram and Onel Hernandez not expected back until January. Add to that a doubt over Tim Krul plus the absences of Gibson, Placheta, Quintilia and Rupp and you can see how difficult it’s been for them. However being just out of the PL their squad is a little larger than most with just that bit more talent spread throughout so it’s not too much of a surprise to see them weathering the situation rather better than Reading (or most other Championship sides) could hope to do in the same situation.
And that’s going to be the stumbling block for Reading. Already up against it by being live on SKY and having a referee who still hasn’t managed to officiate a Reading home win, the few injuries to the clubs thin squad are really making it tough. That said luckily having a poor QPR on Saturday helped keep Reading in the promotion mix but following the loss of Richards in that game it’s likely the Biscuitmen will have a defence comprising 4 centre backs in this one.
Geoff “no Reading home wins” Eltringham
26 Feb 20 > Reading 0-3 Wigan Athletic
01 Jan 20 > Fulham 1-2 Reading
02 Mar 19 > Ipswich Town 1-2 Reading
02 Feb 19 > Reading 0-0 Aston Villa
29 Sep 18 > Brentford 2-2 Reading
03 Feb 18 > Reading 0-2 Millwall
22 Apr 17 > Nottingham Forest 3-2 Reading
17 Mar 17 > Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 Reading
04 Feb 17 > Ipswich Town 2-2 Reading
13 Dec 16 > Leeds United 2-0 Reading
02 Apr 16 > Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Reading
12 Dec 15 > Preston North End 1-0 Reading
07 Apr 15 > Blackpool 1-1 Reading
23 Nov 13 > Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Reading
14 Feb 12 > Derby County 0-1 Reading
Norwich are one of those sides that used to be reasonably regular opponents until they found the second division in 1960 and since then, apart from the one season in division 3 in 2009/2010, they've been consistently in the top two divisions, so the two sides went about 35 years or so with no league meetings.
Therefore this game will be the 37th time the sides have played a league game in Reading. The home league record so far reads 18 Reading wins to 11 for Norwich with 64 scored and 46 conceded. On the whole Reading had a better time of these games pre-1960 so will take quite a fight to make it 19 wins.
How to follow the game
- Get to be in the lucky 2000
- 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)
- SKY main coverage just can’t stay away