With the help of the ghost of Christmas past, we've taken a look at the last ten seasons to see how the Championship table compares at Christmas and the final standings, how Reading's position changes between Christmas and the end of the season and how the Royals have got on in their Boxing Day clashes in recent history.
Below is a table of the top six in the Championship in the last ten seasons. The teams in bold were also in the top six on Christmas Day of the same season.
In half of the last ten seasons, only one team in the final top six was not in the top six at Christmas, including the last two campaigns.
In three seasons two teams have moved into the top six in the second half of the season, whilst in two seasons, three teams have moved into the top six in the second half of the season, including Reading's title win in 2011-12.
What's not shown on the table is that in nine of the last ten seasons, the team that sit third in the table (Reading's current position) at Christmas go on to finish in the play-offs. The only exception is the 2011-12 season, when Middlesbrough were third at Christmas but ended up finishing 7th.
In addition, the EFL have also been posting some interesting stats on Twitter in the last couple of days.
#XmasStats: The highest, lowest and most common positions achieved after Christmas in the @SkyBetChamp ⚽️— EFL (@EFL) 22 December 2016
>> https://t.co/ToH7UbEJHp. pic.twitter.com/QWCK41P7jR
#XmasStats: How teams in the @SkyBetChamp have gone on to perform after Christmas ⚽️— EFL (@EFL) 22 December 2016
⬆️⬇️↔️ >> https://t.co/ToH7UbEJHp. pic.twitter.com/RlGii5juI8
Reading's Position On Christmas Day
The table below shows Reading's position in the table on Christmas Day compared to their final standing, along with the position change.
Ever since returning to the Championship three years ago, Reading have always gone downhill after Christmas. The highest amount of places the Royals have dropped in the last ten years is six (in 15-16 & 07-08), which sets a benchmark of 9th for this season!
The biggest increase in position in the last ten years was 2009-10, when Brendan Rodgers's Royals were struggling at the bottom until he was sacked on December 16th, before Brian McDermott's appointment as caretaker manager and then permanent manager saw the club rise from 20th on Christmas Day to 11th at the end of the season.
If you add together all of the position increases and decreases, Reading have gained four places after Christmas in the last ten years.
Reading's record on Boxing Day
It seems that most Reading teams in the last ten years have enjoyed their Christmas dinner a bit too much, as the Royals have a relatively poor record on Boxing Day in recent seasons.
We haven't won on Boxing Day since 2011, when we beat Brighton 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium. That game was one of only two wins on Boxing Day in the last ten years, the other being a 4-1 victory against Bristol City in 2010.
Admittedly though, of the other eight Boxing Day fixtures since 2006, we have only lost two of them - a 1-0 loss to Wolves live on Sky last year and a defeat to Leicester City by the same scoreline in 2013. The other six fixtures have ended in draws.
In the last ten years, Reading have scored 14 goals on Boxing Day and conceded nine. Norwich visit the Madejski Stadium this year hoping to ruin the festive cheer around Berkshire.