Simon Hooper should be Reading’s favourite referee in the Football League if you’re going by his surname, but we’ve not enjoyed a huge amount of success when he has been the man in the middle – winning just twice in 11 games. The Royals have lost the last three of those fixtures, with the most recent being the 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Boxing Day.
The Wiltshire whistle-blower has officiated a total of 33 games so far in 2015-16, showing 80 yellow cards and two red cards as well as awarding five penalties. He began the campaign by taking charge of his first ever game in the Premier League - Crystal Palace’s 3-1 win over Norwich City, in which he controversially disallowed a Canaries goal. He’s not had a call about a return to the top flight yet.
But don’t doubt Hooper’s experience, as he has taken charge of numerous cup games involving Premier League teams (most prestigiously Manchester United earlier this season) as well as the League Two Play-Off final in 2014-15.
The assistant referees at the Madjeski Stadium will be Alan Young and Robert Massey-Ellis, whilst on fourth official duty is Dave Bushell.