clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who Will Reading FC Face in 2016/17? Part Two

Having looked at the Championship newboys from the Premier League yesterday, today Bucks has a glance over the promoted teams from League One.

Yesterday I took a look at the three teams relegated from the Premier League who Reading will be locking horns with next season. Today, I'm doing the same thing - but this time for the trio of promoted sides from League One.

Wigan Athletic

Last season's finish: 1st in League One with 87 points.

The Latics are in the pretty unique position out of League One sides in that they have a wealth of recent Premier League experience. Having finished second in the Championship the year before Steve Coppell's side famously racked up 106 points, Wigan Athletic stayed in the top flight of English football until 2013, when they also won the FA Cup.

After that, two spells in the Championship followed, the second of which resulted in a 23rd place finish. Nonetheless, experience in the top two divisions certainly suggests that the Greater Manchester-based team won't feel out of place in the Championship.

Add in the fact that Wigan scored 82 league goals last season, the joint-second highest out of the 92 professional English teams, and they look an even more worrying prospect. Of course, 25 of those came from cult hero Will Grigg; success next season could rely on keeping hold of their talisman.

Reading really don't have a good recent record against Wigan. During the 2012/13 Premier League season, Wigan did the double over the Royals, courtesy of 3-2 and 3-0 wins. Having been relegated the same season as us, they went on to win three out of the subsequent four Championship games we've played against them in the second tier.

2016/17 prediction: Will Grigg firing Wigan to a solid mid-table finish.

Burton Albion

Last season's finish: 2nd in League One with 85 points.

Burton Albion are certainly the minnows out of the six teams I'm covering. In contrast to the ex-Premier League giants of Newcastle United and Aston Villa, the Brewers only joined the Football League in 2009 when they won the Conference. As recently as 2002, they were in the Northern Premier League.

The last few seasons have certainly continued that meteoric rise. Albion were unlucky enough to lose out on promotion to the third tier in the Playoffs two years in a row, before winning the division in 2015. After that, they made it back-to-back promotions by finishing as runners-up behind Wigan.

Due to them historically being much lower down the pyramid than Reading, the two have never met in the league. Indeed, the only meeting came in August 2009, when Brendan Rodgers' Royals ran out 5-1 winners at the Madejski Stadium.

Burton Albion v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet League One
Stuart Beavon, son of... Stuart Beavon
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

However, there are notable links to find elsewhere. Burton striker Stuart Beavon is the son of, naturally, former Reading player Stuart Beavon. Added to that, defender Darius Charles - currently on loan at Wimbledon, who were also recently promoted - scored against Reading in consecutive FA Cup campaigns, both times for Stevenage.

2016/17 prediction: the Championship might be a bridge too far, with Burton dropping back down to the third tier.

Barnsley

Last season's finish: 6th in League One with 74 points. Beat Millwall 3-1 in the Playoff Final.

After overcoming Millwall at Wembley this weekend just gone, the Tykes became the final side to gain a spot in the 2016/17 Championship season. It's a status that Barnsley are used to, thanks to a spell in the second tier that lasted from 2006-2014. However, Barnsley hardly hit the heights of the division, finishing no higher than 17th during that period.

Their 2015/16 campaign saw Barnsley race from the bottom of the table in December all the way up to sixth at the end of the season, edging out Scunthorpe on goal difference. Key to that was the goalscoring form of Sam Winnall, who found the net 24 times in all competitions.

The Tykes have lived up to their nickname against Reading recently, doing a good job of scuppering the Royals' promotion hopes under Nigel Adkins. During that 2013/14 campaign, a 1-1 draw at Oakwell was followed by a pretty horrific Reading display in the reverse fixture, with the result 3-1 to the visitors. I for one count the home game against Barnsley as one of the low points from that season - something I made pretty clear in my match report.

2016/17 prediction: a battle against relegation that won't end well for Barnsley.

***

That's what I made of the three promoted sides for next season, but what do you think you? Do you expect to see them perform well in the Championship or go straight back down? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.