Another international break has come and gone, and it was as memorable as Sandro Weiser’s career at Reading (so far). Bristol City come to town with the visitors hoping to capitalise on the break, and they have old scores to settle.
Reading, meanwhile, went into the break on a fine run of form and have players returning from injury. Both sides sit mid-table, and a win could fire the victor near the Play Off places.
Form (Last 5) : DWLWW (all competitions)
Despite the defeat to Preston, Reading bounced back to secure back to back wins. While there are injuries to Swift and Kelly, most of the Squad are match fit. Club record signing (which Jaap Stam denies is £7million!) Sone Aluko will be expected to make his debut. The striker could partner now-fit and in-form Jon Dadi Bödvarsson as both look to get their first home goal.
Dave Edwards could also make his debut this weekend after his move from Wolves with Kelly still a doubt due to injury. Jordan Obita could make his long awaited return to the squad after joining full match day training with the squad.
Top Goal Scorer: Liam Kelly: 3 (all competitions)
Form (Last 5): LDDWD (all competitions)
City have had a mixed Augus, picking up three draws in games they had started positively in. They have not been able to kill games off early, which allows opponents to snatch a point. However, they did make a statement by beating Premier League side Watford in the Carabou Cup.
City also have a record striker with Famara Diedhiou being brought in to replace the departed Tammy Abraham’s presence in front of goal. They have also secured the loan of winger Jonathan Leko from West Brom, who could trouble Reading’s defence with his pace.
Top Goal Scorer: Bobby Reid: 5 (all comps)
What do the stats say?
- Reading have beaten Bristol in the last seven encounters since a 1-0 defeat in 2010
- Reading have lost only once in their last 18 home games in the League (W14 D3), and are undefeated in the last 12.
- Jamie Paterson of Bristol City has created more chances (including assists) in the league than any other player so far this season (14).
(Source: BBC Sport)
What about the history?
Head to Head since 1992 (Source 11v11)
Bristol C: 35
Last 5 meetings
- 28/01/2012 Reading: 1 Bristol C: 0
- 19/09/2015 Bristol C: 0 Reading: 2
- 2/01/2016 Reading: 1 Bristol C: 0
- 26/11/2016 Reading: 2 Bristol C: 0
- 2/01/2017 Bristol C: 2 Reading: 3
2/01/2017: Bristol City 2 Reading 3
This Bank Holiday game was a classic “I was there” kind of moment. Reading were absolutely poor for most of the game. Tammy Abraham scored early in both halves due to our comedic defending and was a nightmare all game. Reading had rarely threatened despite a few Kermorgant close headers.
However, the introduction of Liam Kelly changed the game. The Irishman would score shortly after coming on, and Kermorgant would then steal the show with two long range efforts to secure all three points. The scenes at the final whistle when the Bristol players had to pass down the tunnel in front of the away fans to the chants of “sacked in the morning” was priceless! City would flirt with relegation for most of that season, but relied on Abraham’s prolific form to escape the drop.
How can I follow the game?
Audio coverage is on BBC Radio Berkshire at 104.4, but not available online.
Coverage is also available on the EFL iFollow service but not video coverage will be streaming the game. Full match highlights will be available on the app after the game, and both clubs will post highlights of the game on their respective social media pages and YouTube channels.
I see this as a Reading win personally, as the squad is in a good vein of form with the impressive home advantage to match. It will be interesting to see if Stam radically changes the formation to suit Aluko, or sticks to his current tactic of a false nine. The depth in midfield provides a headache for the opposition to plan against.
Bristol however could prove a test with the addition of Diedhiou and the inform Bobby Reid being key strengths to an upset. But based on recent history, I can see Reading continuing their run. But as shown from my last report - anything can happen!
Verdict: Reading 2 Bristol City 1
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Bristol City Win
Sandro Weiser being recalled to start the game