When : Saturday 19th December 2020, 3pm
Where : Brentford Community Stadium
Capacity : 17,250
Away Fans Location : would be the East Stand
Brentford. First the good news. London is now tier 3 so no-one can go and watch the game other than club officals and media. Bad news is it's another very awkward game for Reading given the difficulties with injuries which all in all will not be helped by the presence of Ivan "16 goals in 19 games" Toney.
This is the first trip to Bentford's new ground - the Brentford Community Stadium - which is less than a mile from their old abode at Griffin Park. The ground sadly lacks a pub on each corner but its existence at last relieved the Madejski Stadium of London Irish. For those who like to know this sort of thing, the ground has a unique triangular design necessitated by the footprint between two rail lines and the M4. The ground also has the two highest resolution LED screens in any UK stadia (not that any fans can watch them at the moment of course). The pitch technology is the same as that at Wembley.
Don't know what it is about Brentford, they have got outstanding recuitment policy as they just keep finding players in lower leagues and abroad reasonably cheaply and then selling those players for very serious money while continually maintaining a very impressive first team that always seems to be in and around the play offs at the very least.
As with the most recent seasons, Reading head to west London for this fixture to play a team which is in rather useful form. This time it's no defeats in their last 12 games, a run which consists of 5 wins and 7 draws. The draws though do seem to be stacking up especially at home where, of the 9 games played, Brentford have drawn 5 - in fact they've actually drawn the last 5 successive home league games.
Star man? Ivan Toney, obviously. Stop him getting on the score sheet and Brentford have problems as Marcus Forss is the next highest scorer with 5 goals then there's just 7 goals from the rest of the squad. However that's not to demean what is a talented and well organised squad with players such as Sergei Canos, Pontus Jansson, Rico Henry and Bryan Mbeumo. Reading connection? Shandon Baptiste is now at Brentford, though he has only 1 sub appearance in the league, but Tariq Fosu has made 4(8) appearances so far for them, so what's the betting his first goal will be in this game?!
Chirstian Norgaard is about Brentford's only injury worry though central defender Ethan Pinnock misses out through suspension thanks to being sent off at Watford on Tuesday. Reading have are still suffering with injuries to Yiadom, Araruna, Richards, Meite, Joao, Puscas and Swift which, when you think about it, is over half a first team in numbers - so if Reading do manage come away with any pointage from this game they'll have done very well.
Keith "3 years and 7 games since my last Reading win" Stroud
07 Nov 2020 > Reading 0-3 Stoke City
08 Jan 2020 > Millwall 2-0 Reading
28 Sep 2019 > Swansea City 1-1 Reading
05 May 2019 > Reading 0-0 Birmingham City
10 Apr 2019 > Norwich City 2-2 Reading
27 Oct 2018 > Swansea City 2-0 Reading
28 Apr 2018 > Reading 0-4 Ipswich Town
02 Dec 2017 > Sunderland 1-3 Reading
04 Nov 2017 > Derby County 2-4 Reading
01 Apr 2017 > Reading 1-0 Leeds United
14 Feb 2017 > Reading 3-2 Brentford
19 Nov 2016 > Reading 3-0 Burton Albion
28 Dec 2015 > Reading 1-2 Brentford
07 Nov 2015 > Cardiff City 2-0 Reading
03 Oct 2015 > Reading 2-0 Middlesbrough
14 Apr 2015 > Reading 0-1 Bournemouth
29 Mar 2014 > Reading 1-1 Huddersfield Town
11 Jan 2014 > Watford 0-1 Reading
13 Aug 2011 > Leicester City 0-2 Reading
03 Apr 2010 > Ipswich Town 2-1 Reading
06 Feb 2010 > Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Reading
29 Dec 2007 > Tottenham Hotspur 6-4 Reading
22 Sep 2007 > Reading 2-1 Wigan Athletic
25 Feb 2006 > Reading 2-1 Preston North End
23 Aug 2005 > Reading 3-1 Swansea City (League Cup)
Reading have won roughly a quarter of the league games played at Brentford (10 out of 44) but have lost on 20 occasions. Brentford have won 7 of the last 11 league games played between the sides (W7, D3, L1).
Expect Reading to have to score at least twice to have a chance of winning the game as Reading have failed to keep a clean sheet at Brentford since the days of Steve Death and 17 Sep 1973 came along. That's a total of almost exactly 46 years and 22 games (but then Reading have only ever kept 2 clean sheets in the league at Brentford so perhaps that isn't really a surprise).
But at least Reading have never lost a game at the Brentford Community Stadium....
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)