News and Views

Final Run In - Who Plays Who

16 April 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

After sitting in sixth place practically all season, the Royals find themselves still hanging in there with four games left to play. The Royals were five points clear of their rivals a few weeks ago but our inability to win at home, combined with a disappointing away defeat to rivals Bournemouth, sees Reading holding on to sixth place on goal difference only. Wigan, in fifth, already have a three point gap and a game a hand - effectively leaving at least four teams fighting for the final play-off position over the final four games of the Championship season.

So how does the final run in shape up? Not too clever for Reading. We haven't won any of our last seven home games and have two more to come against Middlesbrough (12th in the table) and then Burnley (2nd and already nearly promoted) on the last day of the season. It's likely Burnley will be already promoted when they visit and have nothing to play for - but that didn't stop Leicester taking a point away from the Madejski Stadium. Our away fixtures see a trip to Wigan this Friday and then a trip to Doncaster Rovers to finish the away campaign. An optimist might predict wins against Middlesbrough and Doncaster but seven points would surely be at the top end of the outcome for the Royals. That would give us 71 points in total. Will that be enough?


  • Fri 18 Apr 2014 - Wigan (5th) (Away)
  • Tue 22 Apr 2014 - Middlesbrough (12th) (Home)
  • Sat 26 Apr 2014 - Doncaster 19th (Away)
  • Sat 3 May 2014 - Burnley (2nd) (Home)


Brighton, currently level on points with Reading, play 3 teams in the bottom 8. Yeovil and Blackpool should be home wins. It's not fun admitting that Brigton might have secured a higher finish than Reading even before the final day of the season.
  • Fri 18 Apr 2014 - Huddersfield (17th) (Away)
  • Mon 21 Apr 2014 - Blackpool (20th) (Home)
  • Fri 25 Apr 2014 - Yeovil (24th) (Home)
  • Sat 3 May 2014 - Nottm Forest (11th) (Away)


Ipswich, also level on points with the Royals, also have to face Burnley, but away from home, and have a tougher run in than Brighton. The crunch game for them may be Bournemouth next week. The loser of that one may have to wave their play-off hopes goodbye. A draw in that game might be the most useful for Reading.
  • Sat 19 Apr 2014 - Watford (13th) (Away)
  • Mon 21 Apr 2014 - Bournemouth (9th) (Home)
  • Sat 26 Apr 2014 - Burnley (2nd) (Away)
  • Sat 3 May 2014 - Sheff Wed (15th) (Home)


The Cherries currently have a two point gap to make up, but a win over Ipswich could well put sixth place in reach. If they can do that then all the other games are winnable for them.
  • Fri 18 Apr 2014 - Sheff Wed (15th) (Home)
  • Mon 21 Apr 2014 - Ipswich (8th) (Away)
  • Sat 26 Apr 2014 - Nottm Forest (11th) (Home)
  • Sat 3 May 2014 - Millwall (22nd) (Away)
It seems that only changing our fortunes at home will prevent the season from ending in failure. Two wins are highly unlikely to be enough to secure sixth place - meaning we have to beat either Middlesbrough or Burnley - ideally both. Of course it maybe that only four straight wins will be enough for the Royals - and given current form the most likely outcome is that the season will end in disappointment.

Championship Table at: 16 April 2014
5Wigan 41117332218392219+1467
7Brighton 4296628208762117+1264
8Ipswich 42115531216872426+864
9Bournemouth 42105634227682536+162

Share this article: