Reading vs Norwich- September 30 17:30 - Madejski Stadium
Where do I even start with this preview. The last two games I’ve covered (Swansea & Millwall) where I predicted late winners for the Royals have ended up being our worst performances to date . So third time lucky to get at least the result right? While I can joke online about this, Reading’s recent form is no laughing matter as we slip away from the pack. The gossip vultures have begun to circle around Stam calling for change but patience is needed for morale to return. Norwich experienced a similar situation at the start of the season and come to Reading on a rich vein of form. But Fortress Madjeski has not been a happy hunting ground for the Yellows in recent trips.
Reading FC D/W/D/L form (all competitions)
Top Goalscorer: Liam Kelly (4)
John Swift is expected to face late fitness tests before the game due to his recovery from a hamstring problem. Stam has confirmed it is not as severe as first expected but the England U21 midfielder has struggled for fitness in recent games. Mo Barrow could return but will also face fitness check before the game. Jon Dadi Bödvarsson is Reading’s only recognised striker upfront with the continued absence of Yann Kermorgant and Joseph Mendes to injury.
Norwich W/W/D/W (all competitions)
Top Goalscorers: Nelson Olivera, Josh Murphy (4)
Reading’s long coveted summer target Nelson Olivera is set to return to the Norwich XI after recovering from a calf injury. The Portuguese striker’s goal responsibilities have been picked up by the team with the Canaries undefeated in September. Norwich have also got an impressive defensive record with them not conceding in the league for the last five games.
What do the stats say?
- Reading are unbeaten in their last six home league games against Norwich (four wins, two draws).
- The Royals are winless in their last four league games (two draws, two defeats)
- Norwich have kept one clean sheet in their last 12 league matches against the Royals.
Head to Head Since 1909 (Source: 11v11)
Classic meeting (We don’t talk about the result at Carrow road last April...)
Reading 3 Norwich 1 (26/12/2016)
A Boxing Day treat was given to Royals fans as they produced a dominate performance against a strong Norwich side. Yann Kermorgant’s salmon leap got Reading off to the perfect start. Norwich replied through an Olivera strike in the second half to restore their confidence. However Reading got back into the game after Kermorgant had a header saved on the line by midfielder Jonny Howson who was dismissed. Yann tried to recreate his countrymen Zidane’s chipped penalty technique which struck the crossbar although McClearly tucked in the rebound. Callum Harriot then sealed the win with a tight top-left corner finish to give Reading the perfect Bank Holiday present.
How can I follow the game?
Live TV Coverage is on Sky Sports with pre-match analysis from 17:15. This be will be streamed in most pubs or can be viewed through a NOW TV Day Pass.
Audio coverage is on BBC Radio Berkshire at 104.4, but not available online. Coverage is also available on the EFL iFollow service. Full match highlights will be available on the app after the game.
Reading Football Club will post highlights of the game on their respected social media pages and YouTube channel.
Despite this mini crisis surronding the club at the minute, Reading often respond to critics when on the big stage especially in front of a home crowd. Many pundits are not expecting another goal fest but and despite Norwich’s good form they have not been firing on full cylinders. In order not to jinx this, I predict a narrow Reading win but I expect their will be goals as both sides are capable of moments of magic and disaster.
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