Reading FC v Watford FC
Saturday 20th December 2014, KO 3PM
Referee: Gavin Ward
Form (all comps): LDWLL
Birmingham v Reading: 6-1
Reading v Bolton: 0-0
Norwich v Reading: 1-2
Cardiff v Reading: 2-1
Reading v Charlton: 0-1
Manager: Steve Clarke
New boss Steve Clarke immediately comes in after a year away from the game following his sacking from West Brom. Supporters will be hoping he can inject some life into a team that has struggled to find any sort of form this season. The visit of 6th placed Watford to the Madejski Stadium will prove a tough first assignment, as they are one of the six teams that has tussled for top spot during the first half of the season. Steve Clarke has been given 25 games to make a success of this season and he himself refused to rule out a promotion push in 2015. Let’s hope he’s not being over confident!
Form (all comps): WWLLL
Watford v Wigan: 2-1
Fulham v Watford: 0-5
Watford v Cardiff: 0-1
Watford v Derby: 1-2
Ipswich v Watford: 1-0
Watford are the joint second highest scorers in the Championship this season alongside Derby on 38 (Bournemouth have scored the most Championship goals this season with 44). This team has talent all over the pitch and it will take all of Steve Clarke’s coaching know-how to set his new side up to stop the threats that Watford clearly possess.
Last five meetings
11 Jan 2014 Watford v Reading W 0-1 League Championship
17 Aug 2013 Reading v Watford D 3-3 League Championship
14 Jan 2012 Watford v Reading W 1-2 League Championship
10 Sep 2011 Reading v Watford L 0-2 League Championship
19 Feb 2011 Reading v Watford D 1-1 League Championship
Saturday’s game will be the 115th meeting between these two sides in all competitions. Both sides have identical records with 44 wins a piece and 26 draws. Their last 10 meetings have all been in the Championship of which Reading have won three, Watford two and there have been five draws. Last season they played out an exciting 3-3 draw at Madejski Stadium during which Reading had established a 3-1 lead only to be pegged back to 3-3 in the 90th minute. The game at Vicarage Road saw the Royals win 1-0 thanks to a Kaspars Gorkss goal. You have to go back to January 2009 for the last Royals win at Madejski Stadium when they put 4 past the Hornets during the 08/09 season.
Reading: Reading received a boost as long-term absentees Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan both came through full training sessions on Thursday unscathed. Although they won't be ready to face Watford this weekend both could be involved in the Boxing Day trip to Brighton. Pavel Pogrebnyak is still struggling with a calf injury, while Jamie Mackie is also still sidelined. Anton Ferdinand is out of this weekend’s game and is still some weeks away but Craig Tanner is edging closer to a return.