Reading will hope to take advantage of the latest gallimaufry in the life and times of Leeds United with a win in West Yorkshire on Wednesday. After rescuing a point against Wolves, the Royals now have two away games in a row before the latest (pointless) international break.
In typical Leeds/Cellino style, they replaced their relatively successful Caretaker Manager, Neil Redfearn, with yet another manager*, this time with zero experience of English football, the exotically named Darko Milanic.
As a result, Leeds suffered a 2-0 loss away to Brentford, who are coincidentally Reading's opposition after this fixture. Previously, Leeds had been on a decent winning run of three games until coming up (well) short at Griffin Park, by some accounts (or my step-dad at least; who would you believe?!).
Only one point and two places separate the two sides before the game, so a close run match would appear to be on the cards, but Reading's record against Leeds is particularly decent. Having won the last four and unbeaten in eight matches home and away, Reading go to Elland Road unbeaten there since 2005. Tidy.
Last season, Reading came away with a handsome 4-2 victory after racing into a four goal lead via McCleary, Drenthe (no, really...), Blackman and Robson-Kanu before Leeds replied with two in quick succession via Matt Smith (who was given his marching orders for Fulham earlier this month for a shoddy lunge on Hope Akpan) and Rodolph Austin.
Leeds have lost one of their home games thus far, a 2-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion in August. Otherwise, Leeds have won three of their home fixtures and a draw with Derby, so no pushover, in theory, but this is Leeds we're barking on about. Literally, anything could happen...and probably will.
Reading have lost their last two away fixtures, although one was in the League Cup. However, if you like your omens, our last visit to Yorkshire resulted in a win against Middlesbrough. OK, it's in North Yorkshire, cut me some slack!
The Peacocks (as they once were, honestly) will be relying on goals from newly signed strikers, Souleymane Doukara and Mirco Antennuci to deny Reading a victory. I wish I knew more about them, but frankly, I don't, but they've banged a few in of late, so our back four will need to be slightly more switched on than they were against Wolves.
Meanwhile, Reading will be hopeful of a logical increase in their recent 'goals a game' to four after scoring three in the previous game, two before that, and one before that! (A man's gotta dream...) But it would be rather synchronous to match last years four goals scored also, wouldn't it readers? Of course it would. Glenn Murray will no doubt wish to break his away goal duck in a
hooped shirt dark blue shirt!
Given Leeds' first performance for their new manager, they may still be at sixes and sevens which Reading may be able to capitalise upon. To that end, Bobbins gazes into the crystal ball for a fiery 2-0 win for the Royals, with probably a red card thrown in for good measure, just so someone can utter a predictable 'Dirty Leeds!!!'.
*at time of writing, 24 hours is a long time for Leeds United!
|Against top half of the table||2||1||1
|Against bottom half of the table||2||3||1||1||1
|When scoring first||4||3||1
|When conceding first||1
|Average Successful Passes||285||335|
|Goals from Open Play||9||8|
|Goals from Counter Attacks||0||0|
|Goals from Set Pieces||4||1|
Reading: Simon Cox - 4 in 9 matches
Wolves: Mirco Antenucci / Souleymane Doukara - 2 in 6 matches
Reading: Jordan Obita - 2 in 9 matches
Wolves: Mirco Antenucci / Rodolph Austin / Tommaso Bianchi / Souleymane Doukara / Billy Sharp - all 1