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Reading FC v Birmingham City FC: Match Preview

Reading host Birmingham City in The Championship as they return to league action following their FA Cup Semi-Final defeat to Arsenal.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Reading FC v Birmingham City FC
League Championship
Wednesday 22nd April, KO 8PM
Madejski Stadium
Referee: Lee Mason

Reading (19th)

Form (all comps): LLDDD
Reading v Arsenal (FA Cup): 1-2 (AET)
Reading v Bournemouth: 0-1
Reading v Blackburn: 0-0
Blackpool v Reading: 1-1
Reading v Cardiff: 1-1

Manager: Steve Clarke
After Reading’s fantastic run in the FA Cup came to a dramatic conclusion against Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday it is a unwelcome return to league action against Birmingham at Madejski Stadium. The Royals fought valiantly against their Premier League opponents but ultimately failed in their attempt to reach what would have been an unprecedented FA Cup final. Attention must now return to finishing what has been a most disappointing league campaign for the Royals. Steve Clarke will be looking to next season and the players he wants to be a part of his plans for the future so there is everything to play for.

Birmingham (14th)

Form (all comps): LDWLW
Watford v Birmingham: 1-0
Birmingham v Blackburn: 2-2
Birmingham v Wolves: 2-1
Bournemouth v Birmingham: 4-2
Birmingham v Rotherham: 2-1

Manager: Gary Rowett

Birmingham come into this one after narrow defeat to league leaders Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday. The blues sit in 14th place with only the prospect of a mid-table finish seemingly as motivation. However, Gary Rowett’s side have shown they are not settling for what they have got with a credible draw against Blackburn and victory over Wolves just some of their most recent results and Steve Clarke’s men will have to make sure they don’t have a Wembley hangover during this one if they want to get anything from the game.

Last five meetings

06 Nov 2011 Reading v Birmingham City W 1-0 League Championship
28 Apr 2012 Birmingham City v Reading      L 2-0 League Championship
28 Sep 2013 Reading v Birmingham City W 2-0 League Championship
22 Mar 2014 Birmingham City v Reading W 1-2 League Championship
13 Dec 2014 Birmingham City v Reading L 6-1 League Championship

Head to Head

These teams have met 30 times in all competitions with Reading just edging the head to head record with 10 wins to
Birmingham’s 9, while have 11 ended in a draw. When the teams met earlier in the season at St. Andrews it resulted in a 6-1 mauling for the Royals as Birmingham dominated with Demarai Gray bagging a hatrick for the blues. In the preceding season Reading won both their games against this evening’s opponents when they backed up a 2-0 home win with a 2-1 victory at St. Andrews. Birmingham have not won on their previous two visits to Madejski Stadium.

Team News

Reading:Oliver Norwood, Simon Cox and club captain Jem Karacan are in contention, while Nathan Ake and Kwesi Appiah could return after being cup-tied for Saturday’s FA Cup Semi-Final.

Birmingham: Birmingham have Diego Fabbrini and Lloyd Dyer available after they were ineligible to face their parent club Watford at the weekend. Striker Nikola Zigic is back after missing the last three games through injury.

Prediction: Reading 1-0 Birmingham